Posted by Truphone on January 14, 2010
To add to this discussion, I would like to share our thoughts on this topic.
Whenever we create a new Truphone application, or upgrade an existing one, we listen to your thoughts and suggestions, and add more of our own. Then we look at what is technically possible, and from there, we work out what the application should include. Then we build it.
During this process, there is one thing that we keep at the forefront of our mind – quality. And unless something we add is going to be top quality, and give our users the best possible experience, it will not be in our application.
This brings me to VoIP calling over 3G.
There are two main reasons stopping us from offering VoIP calling over 3G across our range of applications.
The first is that although a small number of networks, such as AT&T in the US, allow VoIP calling over 3G, this capability has not been approved by most operators, and has not been opened up across all handset manufacturers, such as the iPhone. As of today, iPhone applications that offer VoIP calling over 3G would not be approved by Apple for release into the App Store.
The second relates to quality. Although it is technically possible to offer VoIP calling over 3G on devices such as the Android, the relatively low bandwidth of 3G compared to Wi-Fi means that those calls are very often of a poor quality.
So unlike some of our competitors who have made VoIP calling available over 3G, we will not be doing so until we have developed a solution that will give our users a level of call quality that we are proud of, and will give our users the best possible Truphone experience.
We do have a solution today in all of our applications (apart from the iPod touch), to allow you to keep making high quality international Truphone calls from your home country, even when not connected to Wi-Fi, by using your local phone network to make a local call to a Truphone server in over 40 countries around the world (see the full list here). Find out more about calling out of Wi-Fi here.
Developing a solution is something that we are actively working on, as we realise that it is something that you want (we want it too!). Keep visiting this blog or the Truphone website for updates.
Karl Good (Truphone’s Director of Applications)
p.s. the exception to the rule is our Truphone for Nokia application, which currently offers great quality VoIP calling over 3G
POST UPDATE (19.1.2010)
We will continue to test VoIP calling over 3G from a quality perspective and keep a watchful eye on the mobile network operators for a change in stance on allowing Vo3G on their networks. When we believe both of these points have been resolved then we will look at releasing applications that allow our customers to make these types of calls.
In the meantime, all our customers, except those on the iPod touch, can make calls when out of Wi-Fi using Truphone Anywhere.