In a press conference held on May 21, Tesco announced that it has signed a Mobile VoIP deal with Freshtel on a trial basis.
This is the first time ever that a mobile VoIP service will not be issuing a separate mobile number for making calls; that is, contrary to the normal practice of assigning a new number when a person signs up for the VoIP, the new service will allow users to make calls from their existing mobile number.
However, as is the case with other mobile VoIP services, such as those provided by Freshtel’s competitor Truphone, a software application will first have to be downloaded on the handset to be able to access this new VoIP service; Freshtel claims that this process will take approximately one minute.
Further, a WiFi connection is required to make the lowest cost calls using mobile VoIP in order to route text and voice communications easily; some of the handsets that support this service currently are the Nokia WiFi range - N81, N95, E51 and E65.
Tesco currently has a 12 percent stake in Freshtel’s Australian holding company, and both are keeping a close eye on the success of this trial mobile VoIP service.