UK Telecoms provider BNS Telecom Group Plc has launched a new end to end telecoms service they say is set to revolutionise the way people use their mobile phones and slash call costs.
BNS claim that with Widial, VoIP on your mobile, will for the first time bring VoIP capabilities to mobile phone users across the globe. By utilising Wi-Fi networks across the UK, callers will be able to make cheap if not free calls by linking to VoIP through their mobile phones whilst in Wi-Fi hot spots. This will be the first time that a provider is to market a converged traditional mobile service with the added benefits of both VoIP and Wi-Fi to create a fully connected, fully powered service that combines handsets, hotspots and connectivity capabilities to, in effect, create a seventh mobile phone network.
BNS expect their new service will shake up the existing telecoms market, allowing both businesses and consumers to use their mobile handsets whether they are at home, in the office, in a city centre or on the move. The service will be primarily targeted at businesses looking to cut call costs whilst improving their mobile communications, students, and those currently reliant on calling cards to keep in touch with family abroad.
According to industry source Jwire there are currently 16,720 Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK, with 12 meshed wireless cities, including London, Newcastle and Birmingham. The UK is leading the way in Europe, with nearly a third of the current active hotspots situated in this country. Most university campuses, trains, airports and big business parks are also wireless enabled and by Summer 2007, it is expected that Widial will have more than 60,000 hotspots globally with new hotspots being added daily.
WiDial is compatible with all existing mobile phone networks and incorporates call jumping technology that will allow callers to switch their phone calls from normal network calls whilst outside an area of wireless connectivity and ‘jump’ to a wireless network upon entering a wireless zone without terminating the call. Currently this will be possible at the push of a button, however, in the near future, Widial will upgrade the technology further to make this switch automatic. Business users will also have the ability to operate their handsets within Wi-Fi hotspots as an extension, meaning they are never out of touch with the office.
Garry Moat, CEO of BNS Telecom Group plc, the provider behind Widial, said: “It’s time for the phone user to fully tune in to the benefits of both the Wi-Fi and VoIP technologies to enable them to communicate quickly, effectively and above all cheaply. This is the first time a provider has been able to provide customers with the complete package, from handset to wireless network, and will really make a difference to businesses looking to cut their phone costs as well as consumers who need to make long distance calls as cheaply as possible.”
Widial will be compatible with a number of handsets, with several available immediately for use with the service. The range includes the new Nokia E series of phones which are already configured to allow easy access to Widial. There is also a range of Wi-Fi only handsets which are suited more to the office or home user and for the business market, a complete range of PDA’s. Call prices start from just 3.95p per minute for a UK call. Europe, the USA and Hong Kong costs 4.95p per minute. The service works on either a contract basis or as pay as you go as with any other mobile network. It is expected that consumers will be able to buy pre paid pay as you go cards at high street stores or newsagents, as with the existing calling card or mobile top ups, but with significantly lower call charges. Pay as you go users will also have the flexibility of topping up online through credit or debit card payment or via SMS.