Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gizmo5 is better than other mobile/web callback products

I was reading lot of articles where they compare gizmo5 and other pure callback voice calling models like jajah, nonoh etc. I feel gizmo is a far better product compared to other callback model products like jajah, nonoh etc. Jajah is a pure voice calling service that provides easy interfaces like web and mobile to call different destinations, which includes international calling. However, if you look at gizmo, they have lot of other services like messaging, sms and mobile VOIM (voice over instant messenger) interface to multiple third-party IM vendors. This is something cool. There are so many advantages of having your IM contacts being pushed to the handset. ( Checkout my Article on Mobile VOIM and its advantages) . Though jajah might be doing far better than gizmo; no denial here. From a feature standpoint, I would give thumbs up to gizmo. I think jajah has a great business strategy.
I still don’t understand why lots of these companies call their products as mobile VOIP. To me, a pure mobile voip is something what fring and truphone support. Voice calls originated from handset uses wireless data service, be it WIFI or other data service (GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, 3G, EDGE, EVDO-revA). But what most of these companies do is use the existing circuit switch interface to callback the originator and terminator, and bridge the call. It makes sense when one of the users is connected to the internet. What I mean here is; one of the legs in the call is setup using IP interface. Now here is where the secret sauce is; for international calling, the interface between the origination country and destination country could be using the IP interface. This saves the vendors lot of money. Companies like Rebtel use this kind of interface to lower the international calling cost. How in the hell can they support $1 unlimited international calling. Man that’s cheaper than local calls.
I was looking at gizmo’s FAQ for call charging, was not able to understand why they would charge the user twice for calling any of the other third-party IM contacts like yahoo, AIM, MSN. It should be an IP leg on the terminating side, unless they need to connect to a landline. I’m assuming this will anyway use users IM dial-in account.
Just thought of listing out all the different ways these companies (Fring, Jajah, Gizmo, Nonoh, Mig33, Truphone etc) support voice calling from Mobile or Web.
Call through model: When user originates the call to a local number using the client, client first connects to the third-party gateway. A predefined gateway number (E.164) is configured with the handset client for voice call. The friend’s phone number to call is provided to the third-party gateway through out of band signaling. It could use sms or your mobile data plan. So beware if u plan to use these clients for frequent calling. Also, file transfer and picture sharing might use lot of wireless data; make sure you get an unlimited data plan. (You will be charged twice here since the third party gateway bridges the call between you and the called party). It doesn’t make sense to use these clients for local or long distance calling. Makes more sense when it comes to international calling. ( for more details, check out my previous Article on Mobile VOIP )
Call back model: When user originates the call to a local number using the client, an out of band signaling message is sent to the third-party gateway. Based on this out of band message, third-party gateway will initiate a call to the originator and the terminator. (You will be charged twice here since the third party gateway bridges the call between you and the called party).
Call to an IM contact: When the user originates the call to an IM contact, then the third-party gateway would connect to the IM contacts using IP interface. So user is charged only for the originating call, which uses circuit switch network. Apparently, looks like gizmo is charging twice for this kind of call scenario except if the call is gizmo-to-gizmo.
Call through using IP interface: When the user originates the call to any contact, client uses the mobile data service for both call signaling and media. I have my own concerns with this model when it comes to voice quality with the exception of WIFI. The wireless data service is not mature enough to support voice traffic. I’m confident we are almost there. It’s just a matter of time. Also, not sure if operators are going to sit back tight and let others use their data pipe for voice traffic. (Remember T-Mobile and truphone issue).
Web originated call back:Using the web GUI interface, user can enter his and the friends phone number. Similar to mobile calling, here the message details are sent to web server as http data. Based on the http message, third-party gateway shall trigger a call to the user and his friend. It’s pretty similar to the mobile model, except that u don’t need a client installed. All u need is a web browser.
Web originated call through: Using the web GUI interface, user can just enter his friend’s phone number. A voip call is originated from the web browser to the third-party vendor’s gateway. (Note: In order to support this kind of feature on web, u might have to install an activex/flash plug-in. Gizmo has a plug-in that support’s web based voice calling.).
Based on the incoming voice call, third-party gateway shall connect the terminator.

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Anonymous said...

I dont think any of these services will last longer. Big Telco's are going to crush them

omfut said...

Well not sure if all the companies are going to go down. I still feel there are some very innovative startups companies in the market that will play a niche role in this business segment


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