Originally published: February 22, 2012
Last updated: March 3, 2012 - 4:15am
Voice-over-Wi-Fi pioneer Kineto Wireless is trying to convince operators that if they can’t beat the over-the-top VoIP challengers like Skype, they might as well join them.
Kineto is now selling a VoIP client and platform to operators that would allow them to bypass their own voice networks and offer their own cheap IP telephony services over Wi-Fi, LTE and even 3G. AT&T has already started exploring such offerings. In November it began offering a smartphone app called Call International that allows customers to make cheap overseas calls. Verizon partnered with its biggest OTT threat, Skype, in hopes of attracting more customers to its data plans (though the service oddly uses its CDMA circuit-switched voice network). But in both those cases, operators put limits on how the services could be used so customers couldn’t simply move all of their voice minutes over to unlimited or big-bucket data plans.