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Mobivox vs Truphone: What kind of mobile user are you?

Andy thinks that T-Mobile's submarine play is UMA, and that Truphone, with it's use of WiFi to carry phone calls, is the competition's answer to UMA.   Go read his reasoning.

I'm not sure I totally agree.  Not that Truphone doesn't have a great service, but ultimately UMA plays (and indeed, all alternate wireless services) are about price.  We seek to use WiFi hotspots because they're cheaper. 

Nope, I actually think that another of Andy's clients, Mobivox, may be just as big a play.  Mobivox offers local dial access numbers in 35+ countries.  When you call the number, you speak with an IVR (the lovely VoxGirl), who then routes your calls at VoIP-alicious prices to wherever you want.  All from your mobile handset… or if you prefer, from a wireline handset.  Calls between Mobivox subscribers are free.  Calls from Mobivox to Skype are free as well.

Why is this better than WiFi?  One word.  Ubiquity.  Like it or not, WiFi networks aren't everywhere, and cellular networks are.  With smart use of mobile pricing plans, you can basically call  anyone you want for next to nothing. For example, here in Canada I pay $15/month for Rogers MyFive, which allows me an unlimited number of calls and text messages to and from any of five numbers on any networks.  T-Mobile has a similar program in the US called MyFaves.  So I set my MobiVox local access number as one of my five.  Next I loaded my entire address book into the MobiVox system (note… it's still beta and it's very slow with 2000+ address book entries).  Now I can call anywhere in North America from my cellular phone for 1.9 cents per minute, and no airtime charge. 

When I compare Truphone to Mobivox, here's where I end up. Truphone calls are free, from WiFi hotspots.  Outside a hotspot, I pay normal airtime charges.  MobiVox costs me 1.9 cents a minute, except between Mobivox subscribers.  Whether Truphone or Mobivox is better for you will totally depend on the kind of mobile user you are.  If you're on the road all the time, Mobivox is the best choice.  If you're one of those people who makes a lot of cellular calls from the office, then Truphone is the better choice.    However you do the math, though, consumers come up the winner. 

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Andrew October 15, 2007, 8:46 am

    The only danger is when Rogers decides that the Mobivox access numbers aren't available as one of your 5. Which I guarantee they will eventually. Then you are on the hook for airtime, but if it is local then it should still be much cheaper than Rogers LD rates.

  • convergence October 15, 2007, 4:00 pm

    I see mobivox as net2phone for mobile phones.

    Except that there is no provision to change your mobile phone's number, instead you call a local number powered by an IVR.

    Bulk rates on per min charges are just under 1c in North America offered by the likes of Level3 Global Crossing etc.. So mobivox makes about 0.9c per min of call or maybe even less if you add Admin, operations, infrastructure and other charges.

  • spg October 17, 2007, 6:21 pm

    What I am looking for does not exist and may never. What I want is a SIM card for that I pay airtime charges on any GSM netwroks. Both inbound and outbound calls are through VIOP VSP's of my own choosing. Routing is SIP based; but the channel to the handset would be via circuit switched GSM. That way it works on any netwrok with any cheap phone. I do the SIP reistrations from a website; it allows me to set up dial plans. I can set any DID to rinf the phone by pointing to a SIP URL. Since I envision this as a discount product a fair airtime charge would be typical call rate to the destination roaming in on a discount VSP for both inbound and outbound(plus I would pay to terminate outbound direct to the SIP VSP of my choice.

    The same product could also be market as an enterprise solution that allows a GSM phone to become an extension on a corporate PBX.

    • Seann May 8, 2012, 4:15 pm

      Curious, assuming that 237 weeks later anyone will see this… Is there a service that roughly equates to spg's idea of the perfect solution? Gradwell seems to be getting close with their Gradwell Mobile service, but even it is still somewhat restricted to the UK…

  • Jim Courtney October 20, 2007, 3:37 pm

    Note that Mobivox also synchronizes your Mobivox address book with your Skype contacts each time you log in. And calls to Skype users are also free (other than any carrier charges to a Mobivox access point).

  • Dennis June 20, 2009, 12:18 pm

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