May 8th 2006 – London, UK – Telecommunications newcomer Truphone today revealed its worldwide, low-cost mobile network and declared itself the world’s first 4G network operator. The company has developed a software infrastructure that allows mobile phones with Wi-Fi to make calls and send SMS messages using only Wi-Fi and the Internet. Crucially, when a Truphone-enabled mobile handset is out of Wi-Fi range it reconnects to the mobile network, allowing customers to roam between the two networks.
Truphone completed its service testing using Nokia’s new E-series handsets, the first mobile VoIP, Wi-Fi handsets from a big name manufacturer; others are set to follow and Wi-Fi functionality on mobile phones will rapidly become commonplace. Truphone is also developing mobile VoIP applications for the millions of smartphones already in circulation, ensuring mass market availability of free and low-cost mobile phone calls by the end of 2006.
Using the well-established SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for Internet telephony, Truphone ensures its compatibility with SIP-based solutions and services already developed by more than 100 companies across the world. As a result of the SIP community’s efforts, the rapidly-growing number of SIP network users stands at more than 30 million worldwide. Most consumer services including Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have adopted SIP, as have many large corporations.
James Tagg, founder and CEO of Truphone, said: “Wi-Fi telephony is going to change users’ mobile phone experiences dramatically. I recently received a near-£700 mobile phone bill for a month that included one week spent on holiday in France - 95 per cent of this was roaming charges. Mobile VoIP technology, which is inherently much cheaper, would have virtually eliminated my roaming bill. Even £70 instead of £700 would have been acceptable, yet that sum is still three times the average revenue per user achieved by UK operators,” he added.
Chaired by John McMonigall, former BT director and telecoms partner at Apax Partners, Truphone’s board comprises individuals with long track records bringing new digital technologies to market. Eden Ventures’ Mark Farmer co-founded Metrica Systems, while Alexander Straub, partner at Cambridge Accelerator Partners, founded the pioneering e-marketplace Mondus. Truphone’s founder and CEO, James Tagg counts among his previous achievements the launch of Mobile Instant Messaging with carriers in the UK, Germany and Italy.
Truphone is compatible both with private, home or office Wi-Fi networks, and with public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those found in cafés, hotels, airports and bars, delivering a global Wi-Fi mobile network comprising potentially hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi points-of-presence. Each new person that subscribes to the Truphone service becomes a mini-cell in a new, collaborative network that they share with their friends, spontaneously building the world’s first 4G network.
Although the precise definition of a 4G network has yet to be agreed the characteristics of a 4G network are generally accepted as: high data rates, all-IP infrastructure and the use of open Internet standards.
When Truphone users are both connected via Wi-Fi, the call is routed entirely over the Internet and incurs no mobile operator charges, even if the caller and recipient are on opposite sides of the world. If only the caller is connected to Wi-Fi then call charges are significantly reduced. Using a commercial public Wi-Fi hotspot incurs a low, generally flat-rate fee. In addition to inbound and outbound calling, Truphone also delivers SMS, presence, and voicemail and will be available in pre-pay and post-pay.
Truphone will be demonstrating at this month’s VON Europe exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden, on stand 532B.
Notes to editors
VON Europe – www.voneurope.com
Now in its 9th successful year, VON Europe is the definitive event for Europe’s IP communications industry. It takes place from 15-18th May 2006 at Stockholm International Fairs, Sweden.
Truphone – www.truphone.com
Truphone is the trading name of Software Cellular Network Limited (SCN). SCN Ltd is a privately held company registered in England, founded in 2000. It is a pioneer in mobile Voice over IP and is a committed supporter of open source software and open standards.