Three lucky people will shortly begin using the world’s most advanced and most esoteric mobile VOIP and telephony service.
And I’m one of them.
Esoteric, meaning ‘only for the initiated’, is most definitely the description for this new service.
It doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t need one.
It’s mobile 3.0.
Or telephony 10.0.
This is the next generation of mobile telephony services that will offer me a significantly enhanced telephony experience, without the rubbish. It will enable me to completely use my mobile operator like a ‘bit pipe’. I’ll buy ‘unlimited’ landline calls and ‘unlimited’ data. That’s all I need. I won’t have to augment my experience with one or two providers that don’t *really* do what I need very well.
Whenever I walk out the door, I simply pick up one of my 10 devices running on an array of different networks. When I make a call, you’ll see one number calling you. One identity to rule them all. So whether I’m on my o2 iPhone, my Orange LG Renoir, my Vodafone Blackberry… whatever, when I call, provided you’ve got my identity in my phone book, you’ll always know it’s me.
Call me and every single one of my devices will ring concurrently. When I answer, the others will stop ringing. One key press and I can move you from my Vodafone Blackberry to my BT landline. Or to my Hotel phone. It’s so bleeding edge, when you’re on the train and those stupidly annoying beeps sound (you know, when the doors close), the service will strip out those sounds and an array of interference.
Another key press and I can put you into conference with the Mobile Industry Review editorial team. I just press ‘*5’ and woosh. Dan Lane, Ben Smith and James Whatley get a call from me. When they answer, they’ll get put straight into the call.
Or if I press *6, I can dial my wife, my two brothers, their partners, my mother and father (on both his mobile handsets) and put them straight into conference with us.
If you get cut off for any reason, just dial me. The system will recognise I’m on the conference call and stick you straight into the chat.
For those who don’t answer my pre-defined conference call request, they get a text message, from my ID, with a request to join.
And that’s another thing. Unified text messaging. Every text I send and receive is copied into my Google Mail.
Of course, setting up group chat, divert, push-one-for-help kind of things — all built straight into the service.
Indeed, pressing *8 immediately begins recording the call and streams it straight into an mp3 file on to the frontpage of Mobile Industry Review and into a blog post or out immediately on to Twitter. (It, er, does announce this to all parties and it requires me to confirm the action… just in case the phone slips or something.)
Instant public and globally available conference calls. Love it.
And voicemail? It’s automatically transcribed and the audio is emailed and available for query on 6 of the most popular mobile platforms a la Apple’s Voicemail system.
Did you say Vodafone Passport?
Because I don’t need it any more. I can’t call the States from my Vodafone handset. I still haven’t phoned them up and ‘switched’ that function on to allow me to pay some ridiculous rates. I dunno, 1.50 a minute? From my mobile?
It costs nothing. Next to nothing. I get it at wholesale, whatever I call.
When I’m roaming — when I’m in the States, for example, I get exactly the same service. No roaming costs.
Annoyingly, it costs more for me to call the local pizza place, than it does to call New York. But it’s wholesale rates and it’s pittance.
If you’ve only got one handset and you’re on PAYG, this is not for you. It’s a service aimed at the planet’s ‘mobile global elite’. And I’m loving the concept.
I guarantee you haven’t ever heard of this provider. I doubt they’ll sell for a billion dollars. Their target market is just far too niche. But they don’t mind. They’re focusing on making the best possible mobile telephony experience, bar none.
I don’t imagine I’ll significantly reduce my mobile costs. That’s not really a concern for me in this context. Instead I expect I’ll be able to reduce my Vodafone spend from approximately 500 per month to about 50. I then reckon I’ll rack up about 50 quid’s worth of wholesale usage in a given month.
I should be able to begin using it in about two weeks. When I can, I’ll publish more details and I’ll get some demonstration video footage up.