PeerMe Inc has launched software that enables voice over IP calls to be made from mobile phones.
Mountain View, California-based PeerMe Inc is a privately held developer of VoIP-enabling peer-to-peer software. Its first iteration the product was for fixed-line environments, PC-to-PC running Windows XP or 2000, but now there is also a version for Windows Mobile 5.0 and Pocket PC.
PeerMe has announced a version of the product for the Motorola Q, a smart phone based on WM5.0 launched in mid-2005 in its CDMA version and currently offered by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel in the States. A GSM version is promised for toward the end of the year.
The offer is of peer-to-peer VoIP calling over the data connection on the cellular network, so to make an all-IP call, it will rely on the devices at each end running the PeerMe client. In announcing the client, PeerMe said: Users can pay their mobile carrier a flat fee for a high-speed mobile data plan and can use PeerMe to make unlimited calls from their cellphones.
Founder and CEO Tom Lasater said: the cost-conscious consumer can now pay a flat fee of $50 per month to Verizon for unlimited EVDO access, or $25 per month to Sprint, and use PeerMe from their cell phone to talk to anyone anywhere in the world for an unlimited amount of time. Unlimited data plans of high-speed broadband wireless combined with Windows Mobile 5 has completely changed the landscape for the consumer.
Calls to regular phones in the traditional, circuit-switched world would require so-called PSTN break-out, just as calls from them would need break-in to reach the PeerMe client. Unlike the more widely known Skype, PeerMe offers no such interface with the PSTN world (Skype has SkypeIn and SkypeOut). Still, the announcement of the client for the Q enabled PeerMe to claim to have beaten Skype to the punch by offering free worldwide calling on Windows Mobile 5 smart phones.
Lasater said: everyone in the industry seems intimidated by Skype because they are such a large player in the VoIP industry, but we think there is plenty of room for a nimble, forward-thinking company like PeerMe to succeed in this trillion-dollar marketplace. We have a great product pipeline, and our smart phone version, which is compatible with the Motorola Q and the Treo 700w smart phones, is just the tip of the iceberg.