Jan 25, 2006

3 offers Skype

Yesterday 3 Sweden announced a new subscription that includes Skype. On the technical side that means two plans (1Gb or unlimited) data per month (bound for 18 months) and a "Skype kit". The latter includes a traditional phone number, software, headset with a mike and a sum to call for. It seems that you are not supposed to use Skype software in your phone, actually there are to my best knowledge no such 3G models available. Instead you connect through a 3G data card in your computer.

The big point here is that the cell phone operators start realising that WiFi and VOIP affects their business. It will be interesting to see how this affect their business models and market value. My bet is that the former will not drop, but warp down. Mainly because content, the supposed future revenue source, is freely available on the Web. Voice will be a marginal business...

10:26 AM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Sjiombord_map_1My sincere apologies for the long time since my last posting. Been extremely busy with a number of projects, mainly concerning podcasting. A1000blog just had to be on hold. But now I am back - and from the train!

Sitting on the speed train X2000 between Stockholm and Växjö. The map on the image (captured from the trains portal www.sjinternetombord.se) shows where I am (or was a few minutes ago). The connection is through WiFi and the cost is included in my ticket (1:st class, for other charges apply). But the last-minute price for a 1:st class ticket was cheaper than the regular 2:nd class ticket. Pricing is an interesting thing :-)

Tried Skype a few minutes ago. Worked OK, which means not perfect. But at least as good as 2G/3G calls on my A1000. The coverage for Swedish trains is lousy, especially in tunnels...

10:14 AM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jul 30, 2005

Others can Skype with 3G

In some previous posts in the VoIP category I have commented on the possibility to make Skype calls with a mobile phone. Originally I talked about this as "the future", but since it has become a practical reality that seems an obsolete viewpoint. Nevertheless, I can´t do it on my A1000 and that annoys me.

What is needed is basically a piece of software for the phone and data networking capability. For economical reasons WiFi should be preferred. Of course the 3G data pipe, as well as GPRS, would technically do just fine. But then the pricing scheme is in the hand of the operator. So far most customers would find it rather expensive to route Skype calls that way. The last couple of weeks I have learned about two new solutions for mobile skype calls.

Adam Curry has in his podcast the Daily Source Code talked a lot (first on July 13:th)about how he Skypes over WiFi with his new T-mobile MDA III. That is simple becuase the MDA III is based on Windows Mobile, which Skype offers a client for. Curry is very positive about his experiences with this phone (although he does not mention how much battery it sucks).

For Symbian phones (the A1000 uses a flavor called UIQ) Usefulapps now offers a client (for the Nokia Series 60 - another Symbian flavor). I don't know if it really works, there are no reviews posted and reviews for another Bluetooth/PC-host application hints that the use is not straight forward.

All this just makes me determined that my next phone should have WiFi and an operating system that can host a client capable of managing Skype calls.

02:05 PM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 04, 2005

Is Motorola doing WiFi with TeliaSonera

In a press release TeliaSonera announces that they are currently testing "future telephony - mobile and IP telephony integrated into a single telephone" in Denmark. The IP-calls are routed over Bluetooth and/or WiFi. Another news source mentions that Motorola is taking part in the tests. If it's up and running they are probably doing it with Bluetooth. But, WiFi is coming soon on the A1010...

10:15 AM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apr 29, 2005

PDA and Skype - not Symbian

Stumbled on a guide about how to make telephone calls with Skype using a PDA. Unfortunately you need Windows for pocket PC, but it´s an indication about what is in the pipeline. Wonder if it would work with Mobile Windows?

01:33 PM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mar 03, 2005

WiFi for free is meeeaaan

The founder of the Mobilemaster site just hinted me about todays announcement that Skype and wireless broadband operator Broadreach will offer free telephone calls over the Web from laptops and handheld computers at 350 locations in Britain, including major train stations (see Skype's pressrelease). The mean(ing) is to offer Skype users free access to the Internet when making VoIP calls carried by Broadreach. This is just an addition to the many free WiFi hot-spots out there, including those we have at home.

I guess I've underlined my point sufficiently for the moment. So, I'll just let the time pass by and return to the subject when I get a WiFi capable phone. After all, A1000blog's focus is supposed to be on my experiences - in this case about not having WiFi.

11:21 PM in VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The mean future is here...

Oh, how I wish that the A1000 could use SD memory cards instead of the tiny little TransFlash card stuck under the battery.

Seems I didn't know enough, but WiFi is already here on some mobiles. The only phone I know about that is competetive with the A1000 for my needs is the Qtek S100 (or iMate Jam as it is also called). It is a small, beautiful, PDA-inspired, and three-band (but not 3G) phone that can handle SD memory cards.

In theory (I'm not sure about the different versions of Windows Mobile) three things are required. First, you need a phone like the iMate Jam (SD & Windows Mobile). Second, you need a WiFi card that uses the SD interface (unfortunately replaces the external memory when used). Third, you need Skype's software for the Pocet PC.

But, as I wrote earlier. The A1010 with WiFi and Skype software seems to be on the way...

03:30 PM in Future, VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mar 02, 2005

Skype makes it meaner

The other day I wrote about how WiFi-enabled phones (such as the upcoming Motorola A1010) might undermine the operator's business plans (means mean). Last week CCT commented about an agreement between Motorola and Skype (thanks to Markmedia where I picked that up).

It's not hard to imagine what might happen revenue-wise if I (and some of the other billion mobile users) started to make mobile voice calls routed through the Internet instead of using the operators 2/3G networks. Particularly interesting if the terminal (technological term for the phone) has the capacity to decide how to route the call). Not a new thought (reflected in my doctoral dissertation), just getting closer to reality.

Meanwhile (before Skype has done it with Motorola) I've experimented with the Visual Communicator from Sapio. That is a similar P2P service as Skype's, although it uses the GPRS system. Unfortunately there is no version for the Motorola A1000. Instead I tried the application for SonyEricsson Pxxx. It uses the side-buttons to enable talking, which means the voice calling does not work on the A1000 (the buttons are taken up by Motorolas UIQ operating system for other uses, such as turning the speakerphone on).

01:46 PM in Future, VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Feb 25, 2005

WiFi on the A1010 means mean

A1010wa1000blogIt was interesting to follow how quickly news about the A1010 was spreading around in forums and sites around a month ago. At first I did´nt trust the buzz, mainly because it's so easy to fake a story like that. But after the 3GSM conference the news seems to be true. As of today Rafe at All About Symbian updates his story about the A1010 and provides a link to an interview with a Motorola rep. When I first learned about the A1010, three things caught my attention.

First, it won´t be available until Q4 this year, possibly later. That's  good news for this blog, since it's life  is dependent on how long I have the A1000 (the blog might end up in a museum next year or so :-).

Second, maybe I'm crazy, but the first thing I saw was that the navigation key has grown (see the picture). In a previous post I complained about the slippery key. Fat chance that Motorola saw that, but it's good that they have understood the problem and done something about it. It's going to be interesting to see how many of my hardware related annoyances will spill over to the next generation of A1xxx users.

Finally, and here comes the mean stuff, the A1010 will have WiFi. Whow, will that change how I use the phone at home, and whenever there is a WiFi-spot around! But the real strike will hit the operators. It's easy to imaginate an application that senses when the phone comes into a WiFi are, downloads some music, video, data and sends outboxed stuff that was not time critical. Talking about lost Mbyte revenue for the ops. Ooops. Besides that, voice over ip (e.g. Skype) will also most likely support a change of power back into the hands of the hardware manufacturers (which nowadays are pulled around by the operators). Wonder if the overpaid telco analysts have included that in their estimates of the operator's market value (doubt it, because I've been looking for such signs for many years...)

03:04 PM in Future, VoIP | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack