Today Nokia’s Ovi app store sees the arrival of the VoX app from Vox Communication. The app is one of a growing number of “VoIP assisted” voice services, where data services are used to provide cheaper calls.
What’s the story?
The new VoX product combines Voice over IP (VoIP) with mobile applications. There’s a monthly fee associated with it – but it’s a very reasonable $4.95 when you look at what you get:
• Unlimited calls to anywhere in the continental U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico
• A “choose your own phone number” feature
• Proper call services, including voice mail, caller ID, etc.
• The option to buy Worldwide Minutes so you can call internationally (still very reasonably priced)
• Works over WiFi or your 3G connection
Looks good! Unfortunately, it’s a Maemo app, so it currently only works on the N900. If VoX are working on a Meego version, you’ll likely see it on more devices in the future. But for the time being, only the lonesome N900 can access this service.
What we think?
There has been an on-going battle between VoIP providers and mobile operators. By patching all voice calls through internet services, you could effectively make as many free phone calls as you like. Naturally, this is something operators want to avoid. Allowing VoIP providers to drain all of the calls away from the core network would result in massive loss of revenue for the operator. But it’s something that users genuinely want, and a compromise needs to be reached somehow. For the time being, services like VoX seem to be the happy medium. For a monthly rate, users can make VoIP within certain boundaries. For calls outside those limits, network rates apply.