VoIP technology developer and service provider Vyke AS has launched a VoWiFi service, with a client Nokia’s Eseries enterprise mobile phones.
The first phone on which the service is available is the E60, but Vyke plans to extend the offering to the other two handsets in the range, the E61 and E70. Phones will be sold directly to enterprises, with the devices shipping with the Vyke mobile VoIP client preloaded so that when in a WiFi hotspot, users will be able to make VoIP calls from them, paying PSTN breakout via a pre-established account with Vyke.
The product is targeted at the European market where mobile termination charges are so high that the EU has voiced criticism, resulting in seven of the region’s operators (T-Mobile, TIM,. Orange, Teliasonera, Telenor, Optimus, and Wind) promising a roaming charge of 0.45 euros a minute from October, falling to 0.36 euros 12 months later. Tower said it will offer roaming rates of 0.017 euros per minute on the VoWiFi service.
As for the geographies where it will be marketing the phones, Jan Berger, director of sales for the Vyke portfolio at its parent company, UK-based Tower Plc, said the campaign began in Norway on June 12 and will be rolled out across Europe during the third quarter.
The Nokia dual radio handsets finally give service providers such as Vyke the possibility of offering the consumers and enterprises alike mobile telephony at affordable rates. The Vyke mobile VoIP will change the way consumers regard their mobile phone bills – for good, he said.
Vyke’s background is a series of mergers and takeovers. Icelandic comms software developer Maskina Ehf was acquired in 2004 by the specially created Norwegian unit Maskina AS, headquartered in Oslo. The assets involved were, in the company’s words, a set of mobile handset products that enabled the provision of advanced data services to and from mobile phones.
Then Maskina went into partnership, leading to a merger, with Dallas, Texas-based Transcom Communications Inc, which was a facilities-based carrier with its own billing platform, which led to a product offering to enable voice calls to be originated from and terminated to mobile phones, fixed lines and personal computers utilising VoIP. Then in June last year AIM-listed Tower Plc announced a reverse takeover of Maskina.