Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Truphone, which offers smartphone owners a voice over IP (VoIP) service over an international virtual network, has announced a new service today that combines both its unique GSM network and Internet calling app.
Truphone+ uses “intelligent routing” to automatically choose whether to carry a user’s call over a GSM or Wi-Fi connection. By analyzing signal quality in real-time, it means that Truphone customers will be able to make and receive calls whenever they have access to a Wi-Fi connection – even where there’s no GSM coverage at all. Users simply hit “press call”, and Truphone sets up a secure connection over the highest quality link available.
The service, compatible with unlocked smartphone and tablet operating systems including iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10, also includes a call cost indicator so that the user can decide where and when they want to make a call – avoiding the nasty shock of added charges on their monthly bill.
The upgraded service isn’t revolutionary, but it certainly brings it on par with other VoIP services such as Skype and Viber. The difference is that Truphone+ will be combined with the firm’s existing services, including what it calls the ‘Tru SIM’.
Combined with a pre-specified device, a Tru SIM gives users a local number in all countries where Truphone operates, giving them to access voice, data and SMS services at local rates. If friends, family or anyone else calls using the same type of SIM card, the idea is that they’re charged only as a local call, regardless of where they are in the world.
Truphone says it currently operates in over 220 countries, but is only available right now as a local service in the UK, USA and Australia. Additional countries, including Poland, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Hong Kong, will be added to the service over the next 12 months.
Truphone already has an app on iOS and Android, which, like rivals Skype and Viber, offer free calls to other Truphone App users and charged calls to landline or mobile phone numbers. The company claims it was “the first ever” VoIP service for mobile phones, and has seen “millions” of downloads across the world since the app was launched.
Truphone recently announced the closure of a new funding round earlier this month totaling £75 million (approximately US $118.7m), led by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.
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Image Credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
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