Two of the more interesting companies here at VON are Rebtel and Truphone.Â Both of these companies use VoIP technology to radically trim your cell phone bill.Â On the theory that you’ve got a large bucket of cheap local minutes, both connect you to a local DID, and then bridge the call over the internet.’
It’s at this point, however, that the companies diverge.Â Truphone’s model is to take one of the new WiFi / VoIP handsets available from Nokia, and add a single unobtrusive menu item asking whether or not the call is to be made over the internet.Â It’s a dead simple system.
Rebtel, by contrast, is more ofÂ a call back service.Â You tell Rebtel what number it should reach and then it initiates a call back.Â Rebtel’s model is more inclusive than Truphone’s in that it works with any handset.Â However, it’s also clumsier to use.
Both of these are terrifically important developments.Â Mobile is one of the last bastion’s of high margin cellular service.Â Rebtel and Truphone are storming the gates.Â
More from Martin Geddes here.