In what may be the first instance of a VOIP (voice calling over data) application officially implemented by a wireless carrier, T-Mobile has announced Bobsled. This is an app and a service that allows you to call your Facebook friends for free over your internet connection.
Bobsled will eventually be a suite of services but T-Mobile is launching it first as an app for people using PC or Mac computers. Once the application, that you can download here, is installed, you’ll be able to make calls directly to people from your Facebook chat window. BGR is reporting that Brad Duea, senior vice president, T-Mobile USA is confident that the service will continue to expand, possibly even to T-Mobile’s mobile platforms.
“Integrated voice on Facebook is a critical part of our roadmap for Bobsled by T-Mobile and Vivox is the clear leader in this area,” said Duea, “Vivox is a talented and innovative company, and we look forward to a successful partnership with Vivox.”
T-Mobile’s focus is to innovate to provide simple and affordable communications for customers, enabling people to stay connected wherever they are,” elaborated Duea,“Bobsled by T-Mobile takes our communications services innovation to a whole new dimension, bringing simple and cost-effective connections to more than half a billion people overnight.”
I tested out the interface and calling feature briefly, it looks like a pretty slick integration with Facebook’s existing chat window. The interface sounds and prompts are all very well done and the call tab sits on top of the existing chat box.
Presumably this service is just the first in what would become a network that would allow you to talk to Facebook friends from mobile to PC, PC to mobile and perhaps even mobile to mobile. I would be very surprised if you didn’t see Bobsled as a standardized cross-device chat service for all of the new T-Mobile devices including the Sidekick 4G, G-Slate and other G-series phones.