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O2 UK Trial Allows Smartphone Users to Use Voice and Text via WiFi

Posted: 14th Oct, 2011 By: MarkJ
o2 broadband ukMobile operator O2 UK has begun trials of its new Voice-over-IP ( VoIP ) based O2 Connect service, which will give Smartphone (Android and iPhone) users the ability to use voice and text services over Wi-Fi (wireless) networks, from their normal mobile number, to any UK mobile or landline.

The move to push mobile calls and texts over fixed wireless networks (WLAN), such as those you find at home or through public Hotspots in airports and cafe's, is certainly novel. Most mobile operators have traditionally been fearful of VoIP and free internet based voice calling providers, such as Skype, because they can erode call revenues.

Richard Porter, Head of Consumer Mobile Products at O2, said:

"This trial will allow us to explore the potential of delivering VoIP services to customers. We hope to launch O2 Connect as a commercial service in 2012."

The trial, which is due to commence this month, will be available to a "limited number of people" (O2 customers by invitation only). Attendees at Wired 2011 will also be able to give it a try. The move makes sense for O2, which earlier this year announced plans to build its own FREE public Wi-Fi (Wireless Broadband) Hotspot (O2 Wifi) service (here).
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