has been tapped by Truphone
to provide the access numbers for the mobile VoIP company’s new “Truphone Anywhere” service. “Truphone Anywhere” is the latest addition to Truphone’s mobile VoIP handset software. It will work like an all-knowing, international calling card – without the card. When the Truphone-running phone is dialed and senses the presence of a WiFi network, it will convey the caller’s voice as data via the Internet.
Invisible access to the IP network
“Truphone Anywhere” enters the picture when no WiFi LAN is detected. In that case, the mobile phone determines the country in which it is currently being used. From there, the phone chooses the appropriate Voxbone local access number from its own internal database and dials it behind the scenes to the nearest Truphone server. That server takes the user-entered digits and completes the call to the called party via the Internet.
The Truphone Anywhere call has actually begun on the cellular network, switched to VoIP at the access number/gateway, and converted back out to the PSTN on a far-end gateway to reach the given PSTN number. By circumventing the PSTN for all but the first and last miles, the service has reduced costs from 25/50 cents or more to a few pennies per minute. It saves the most where the caller incurs little or no charge for the domestic call made to the access number.
If no access numbers are locally available or are prohibitively expensive to dial, Truphone users have another option in “call-back” connectivity. Here, the handset sends an SMS containing both calling party and called party numbers to Truphone’s server. The Truphone server initiates a call back to the handset and once automatically answered, calls the called party and connects both calls together. All this happens in the background; the user has simply dialed the number he wishes to reach, as usual.
An integrated feature in the latest (4.0) version of the Truphone service, Truphone Anywhere can be downloaded at the Truphone Web site or by sending an SMS message with the word ‘Tru’ to 202 683 8200 (from North America) or to +44 7978 88 11 11 (from everywhere else).