November 2nd, 2006

Sunny Santosh

Talkplus. Talk Everywhere

VoIP companies should learn from TalkPlus, that its not about cheap minutes , its about giving innovative and usefull applications.

TalkPlus launched its business around 2004 and has just received 5.5 million in funding. It recently launched a unique service for mobile phones.and here is how it works:

The service lets you download a tiny application on your mobile phone that provides the phone with a 'virtual number' . The service connects to a TalkPlus server over the data network, and allows you to authenticate your number. All out bound calls from your phone can be made via any of the two phone numbers you have – your cell phone, or this virtual number.

Outbound and inbound calls use the voice channel, and connect to the PSTN network. There is no voice quality degradation, typically a problem with mobile VoIP offerings. Those who are receiving your call can only see your virtual phone ID.

When they want to return your phone call, they can hit call and the call is returned to the virtual number. When they hit send, the call is then routed to the TalkPlus softswitch and then onto your mobile phone. The original cell phone number can stay anonymous, if you so desire, a feature that can come in handy if you are looking for love online or in the bars.

Back in the late 1990's , when VOIP mostly prevailed in 'RFC's' and 'White Papers', there were a few guys trying to figure out a business sense out of this and also had a few lame prototypes for downloads, with 'one-page' websites . Then ofcourse we had the 'dotcom bust', '9/11' and the telecom industry went through a bad phase. Those who kept hanging in there , are currently making their booty. Talkplus is one such company. Other such companies include eStara and Ubiquity and many more.Perseverance pays.

eStara's unique 'clicktocall' service allows users to make a VOIP call from a web page with no configuration recquired. Their http-tunneling mechanism can circumvent all firewalls and NATs. This is great service that companies could use to provide customer support on their web sites or even receive inbound sales calls.