Ok, so VoIP over 3G isn’t quite there, but 4G is not far off.
It would seem that Apple believes 4G is ready for voice and video calling in Korea at least. According to a Korean blog, Korea Telecom will be deploying the iPhone 4G in June of this year. The new device will sport forward and rearward facing (5-megapixel) cameras, an OLED screen and a video calling service.
It occurs to me that with all that is going on in the mobile space, at least one of the providers would have come to market with a data only + VoIP offer. Well, there is still a chance that might happen, in Canada. If we look at the recent spectrum auction it is plain to see the potential players who could bring the Google Nexus One (N1) to market in Canada. It seems that there are only 2 possibilities; DAVE wireless or Wynd Mobile.
Since Wynd has launched there has been no mention of the N1, so maybe it’s DAVE wireless that is bringing the N1 to market in Canada? Will we see a data only offer? One can only hope.
I am an iPhone 3GS user now, but I would jump ship in a heartbeat if I could get decent coverage at a decent price with 3.5/4G + VoIP service of my choice. This seems like such a no-brainer and could seriously disrupt the industry. Let’s get on with it already!
Yes, they will.
1. Rogers has cornered the GSM market in Canada and is the only carrier to offer the iPhone, but that is about to change. Telus and Bell have tag-teamed to erect an HSPA+ network and will be offering the iPhone as early as next month. Just in time for the holiday season and with plenty of time to ready themselves for the 2010 games in Vancouver.
It’s true that 3G is not yet ubiquitous which mean VoIP over 3G is not something that will drive massive adoption in the near term, but it will be enough of a detractor for a good percentage of the users to not choose Rogers if Telus and Bell allow VoIP over 3G on the iPhone.
2. Rumors have it that Globalive / Wind Mobile is hot on trail of Rogers and will be completing Phase 1 of their network build-out as early as this spring. They too might be carrying the iPhone. None of the big three want to get beat out by the new guy on the block.
3. Other devices on the Rogers network already have apps that deliver VoIP over 3G service. It’s not the network that is the limiting factor here, it’s the Apple app store and the contract they have with the carriers representing the iPhone.
4. Net Neutrality. I am sure that Rogers would like to avoid getting dragged into the same kind of kerfuffle the FCC has been crowing about in the US. The Internet does not stop at the desktop, so why should those it be left out of such conversations, it simply shouldn’t.
It’s should also be clear that Apple would prefer it if the carriers would allow VoIP over 3G. It would mean more devices sold and more interesting apps in the app store. I just can;t see Apple saying “no thanks” to VoIP related (product and service) revenue in the app store.
I think the question is more a matter of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’. Hopefully it’s soon!
It happening all over North America. As engadget reports, iTunes activations have once again reached epic proportions and have lead to system-wide shutdown of iPhone Activations.
Rogers in Canada is also suffering from the ill effects of a ‘not so well’ thought-out activation system and it would seem this could also be related to iTunes. Although, some are saying different.
No matter how you slice it, at least from a sales perspective, this will be remembered as a major success for Rogers and Apple. If you are selling that many phones, life is grand.
It’s been a while since I spent any amount of time thinking about the endpoint world but some recent developments around mobile SIP clients and softphones have my attention once again. The question is, “Are we ready for a 3G softphone?”
With 3G comes plenty of bandwidth and powerful mobile devices. The likelihood that carriers will want to cannibalize their own revenue in order to deliver VoIP on the cheap and/or free is… low, to say the least. With that being said there are rumblings that this is in fact what they are planning.
We all know that Rogers is bringing the iPhone to Canada on a 3G network. The fact that there is now an SDK for iPhone will make it rather easy to create a SIP client for the iPhone. On its own, the iPhone does not have enough of a subscriber base to drive mass adoption of a mobile SIP softphone, but it will certainly help.
I know the boys at Counterpath (Congratulations Donovan!) have been busy with FMC and it would seem as though they would be the carrier’s choice for any mobile 3G SIP softphone solution. Although, It’s not clear if a mobile SIP SDK is just a component within their enterprise offering?
So, what other 3G mobile SIP softphone solutions are there out there and which would qualify as a valid choice for a carrier?
If we search for “mobile sip” we see Nokia leading the charge. Not surprising, Nokia has been the predominant player in embedded SIP clients for years now. They have a bit of a leg up there, owning the device doesn’t hurt, or does it? From a carrier’s perspective one would think that getting further into bed with the device vendor could be troublesome but I guess it could work the other way as well.
Something else that’s interesting is that Google’s Android does not have a SIP stack. Not surprising when you think of it. After all Google Talk is still very limited in it’s telephony abilities. One would expect that with the introduction of Android, this would change.
Truphone would likely be a good choice but they are not a softphone vendor, they are a service provider, plus they currently only support Nokia devices. Although I know they have a version working on iPhone already and it would not surprise me if they were working on something for RIM devices.
So who’s left?
There are only 2 weeks to go before the Canadian Wireless Auction closes, 3 weeks to auction awards and things are getting… interesting.
T-Mobile dropped off the list several weeks ago and more recently Niagara Networks withdrew their application.
This means there are now zero foreign applicants on the roster, right?
Hmm, not necessarily. Upon closer inspection we see that one of the Canadian numbered companies is owned in no small part by a few well known US VCs, with Canadian firm Novacap leading the charge.
Something else that’s rather peculiar about this list on first glance is the missing MSO / Cable Companies. On that note, I have it from a reliable source that Cogeco is also in the running, Quebec’s largest cable provider. The same is true for the Alberta numbered company, we already know that one is Shaw.
There are also some smaller firms that are looking to break into the cellular market in Canada, one such company is GlobaLive.
The privately held company, which sells telecommunications services under the Yak brand, said it was seeking 1,892 bid points with a required deposit of $235 million, making it the sixth-most-aggressive seeker of spectrum so far. The company said it was receiving funding from Egypt-based Weather Investments, which runs cellphone providers in Italy and Greece, as well as London-based Novator, which operates carriers in Poland and Iceland.
From all of the known contenders I think Globalive and MTS (the incumbent in Manitoba) are the most interesting. They both have SIP infrastructure deployed in the public realm and both could bridge the gap between wireless and wired networks in a very seamless manner. Standards compliant VoIP across wired and wireless networks, very interesting.
I will be covering this closely from here on so stay tuned.
erik | sipthat.com
In addition to the Lypp service, Lypp is offering an API that allows developers the ability to create his/her own telephony feature in an application…
VANCOUVER, October 2, 2007 – Lypp (http://lypp.com) announced today the availability of its first API (Application Programming Interface) and wholesale VoIP termination service, decreasing time to market for developers when integrating Internet Telephony into any application.
"We have built a REST-based VoIP API that will fast track VoIP Integration for any developer that understands XML," said Lypp CEO Erik Lagerway. "Until now the only way developers could integrate scalable and reliable telephony was through acquisition of expensive equipment and infrastructure. Lypp has removed those barriers by building a simple API and allowing our customers to leverage our access to the North American PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) including but not limited to TELUS, Rogers, Bell, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, SBC and BellSouth, through the most trusted interconnect providers in the business including Level 3, Global Crossing and XO. We are working with the best partners to deliver the best call experience in North America and we're excited that our partners can leverage our API to deliver this experience to their customers."
The Lypp API enables rapid VoIP feature implementation, including: Click-to-Call and Click-to-Conference, virtual phone booth calling features, and integration of basic and advanced telephony such as embedded email and profile call links for FaceBook, MySpace and other web-based applications and services.
Lypp is disrupting the telecommunications industry by using the data
connections and applications that already exist on cell phones and mobile
devices to give users features and pricing that the wireless carriers don't,
won't or can't offer. Lypp also provides wholesale services leveraging its
REST-based API to enable integration of VoIP features with other web-based
applications and services.
The Lypp service is operated and owned by Gaboogie Canada Inc.
For further information: Daniel Gibbons, (778) 998-9543, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver, September 24, 2007. Lypp announced today the launch of its first service, which eliminates wireless long distance costs for Canadian BlackBerry users. Lypp’s service works on any recent BlackBerry model and does not require installation of additional software.
“While other countries are seeing their telecommunications costs falling, Canadian wireless carriers continue to charge exorbitant rates for long distance, as high as $0.30 per minute” said Lypp Co-Founder & CEO Erik Lagerway. “We find this situation unacceptable and unfair, and our solution is a simple alternative that BlackBerry users can set up in seconds and use for calls to anywhere in North America with no long distance charges and the call quality and reliability of a regular phone call. To kick start our launch we’re offering the service for free to anyone who signs up via our website at http://lypp.com.”
The Lypp service is available now at http://lypp.com.
About Lypp Lypp is disrupting the telecommunications industry by using the data connections and applications that already exist on cell phones and mobile devices to give users features and pricing that the wireless carriers don’t, won’t or can’t offer.
For More Information
BlackBerry is a registered trademark of Research in Motion Ltd.