Back in September several comments to Martin Geddes’ blog asked what is so unique about truphone?
What I don’t understand is what value does Truphone bring? If I have a $500 wi-fi enabled phone (which Truphone requires), what do I need them for? Can’t I just set up SIP credentials for a SIP account on the phone? What do I need Truphone for? One poster said:
Apparently the major value is Truphone automates the SIP setup and provides a SIP proxy/server/system that deals with the quirks and limitations of the Nokia SIP client. That seems like slim value-add. If Nokia fixes their bugs, do I still need Truphone? And won’t other services tweak their SIP servers to deal with these phones as the market emerges (as more of these high-end phones are out there)?
It looks like they also provide some software to improve the experience of finding and connecting to hotspots. That’s cool, but again, that sounds like something the phones themselves will do before too long. I guess I’m still not getting what is so special here.
How are they any different than the myriad SIP termination and origination companies out there?
Dean Bubley says it’s because Truphone is a mobile operator in the eyes of the UK regulator. This is why they can give customers a UK “mobile” number (one to which you can SMS, for instance).
So in short, Truphone appears to offer:
- Software to make it easier to program the SIP client in the E-series Wi-fi phoneSoftware to make finding and connecting to hotspots easier on those phonesA DID (number) for the SIP/Wi-fi half of the phone (UK or US only)A SIP termination service to place cheap calls via Wi-fi to PSTN numbers
I guess that’s nifty from a consumer perspective, but I’m not seeing what the fuss is all about. It seems there are dozens of companies that could offer the same thing and that a lot of the value they provide will become irrelevant as the phones themselves get better. They also lock you into their service for PSTN termination (just as do Skype, Gizmoproject and basically almost everyone else). Given the competive nature of SIP to PSTN termination it’s nice to be able to switch providers easily, or even to use multiple providers/accounts at the same time to get the best rates to each country. Otherwise I have to hope Truphone gives me competivie rates to everywhere I want to call.
I must be missing something.