We talk a lot about Femtocells as we are interested to see how they develop in the market place and how network providers can use them to their benefit and ultimately for the benefit of their customers.
We have previously discussed Vodafone’s offering here and it seems they have made some pricing changes and repositioned their product for the market place.
Vodafone has recently relaunched their Femtocell with a large price cut from £160 down to £50. It has also launched a marketing campaign aimed at educating the consumer as to the benefits of the device and at the same time renamed the unit from being the ‘Vodafone Home Gateway’ to ‘Sure Signal’.
Vodafone have not commented on the reason for this new Femtocell enthusiasm, but we have seen reports that make mention of Vodafone’s recent launch of the iPhone and as we know from O2′s experience, this device places high data demand on the network so maybe this is Vodafone’s way to try to offload some of that data traffic onto the Femtocell.
As always we watch this new launch with interest.
More information from the Vodafone site here
We are big fans of the Counterpath Eyebeam and Xlite but at the moment they run under Windows and Mac but cannot be used on Windows Mobile or iPhone, but we see Media5 Corporation has announced the launch, (approx July in the App Store) of its new softphone application for the Apple iPhone called the Media5-Fone.
We see a lot of specific SIP clients on the market but they are closed or locked to a particular service provider but the Media5-Fone is an open application designed to be used with any SIP service proivider or iPBX similar to the Counterpath products. The product looks nice with WiFi support, full SIP compliance, voicemail integration and a range of other features.
See the press release over on Media5 here and the application will appear as below:
We have heared about the Android Operating System from Google for mobile devices and we saw T Mobile hit the market with the G1 device well it appears that there is a development underway to produce a desktop phone using the same OS.
Designed by Touch Revolution (the company founder is Mark Hamblin, who was the Product Design Lead of the iPhone Touch Screen), the NIMble features a 7-inch touchscreen (800×400) with a 624MHz Marvel processor, SD expansion slot, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Touch Revolution has built their own software on top of the Android platform for entertainment and home networking stuff. It will be a cool VoIP desktop device that will do an awful lot more so lets see what happens when it hits the market later this year.
It will be interesting to see if any other desktop devices look to adopt the Android Operating System as this would extend the adoption of it as an important OS in the market place.
NIMble - Desktop Android Based VoIP Phone
Have a look at the NIMble in more detail here
Our regular readers will know that one of our pet subjects that we watch with interest is the different ways Mobile carriers attempt to stop VoIP over WiFi being used on handsets connected to their networks. Obviously they see it as a big threat to their revenue and in many cases handsets are provided ‘free’ as part of a contract.
We see in Germany T-Mobile has taken issue with a VoIP application developed for the iPhone. Sipgate, has developed a SIP client for iPhones (first version) and this has upset T-Mobile who has been able to persuade a German court to ban the use of Sipgate on the iPhone in Germany.
Overall this has to be a very small issue as there are many handsets VoIP capable and many applications available for them.
We will keep our eye on this issue as this one is going to run and run….
We see Apple have announced that they are now supporting third party applications for the iPhone including WiFi based VoIP. As mentioned in a previous blog Truphone have already released a demonstration model late last year, they have confirmed their interest here and indicated they would be developing a fully fledged application.
Not only have Apple opened the iPhone up to external developers but they have also announced a $100 million developer fund from its VC partners called KPCB’s iFund™. There is now an SDK available for developers that allows applications to be tested on a regular iMAC before they are used on the iPhone. You can see it here
We are looking forward to see what external developers produce espescially in the VoIP area and many observers are waiting to see what happens with Skype and what applications they will surely produce.