Google Voice and Truphone Local Anywhere both look set to have a significant impact on the mobile market. Even though neither have fully launched as of yet, they have managed to generate a fair amount of interest (especially Google Voice).
I believe both these services have a good chance of being successful in their own right, however I think both could complement each other if combined into a product which leverages the unique strengths of the other.
Why Google Voice should integrate with Truphone Local Anywhere
One of the biggest possible constraints to the rollout of Google Voice, in markets besides the US, will probably be the need to integrate with the local PSTN network in each country. Instead of doing all the leg work itself, Google Voice could plug-in to the Truphone MVNO architecture which can offer global PSTN coverage in one fell swoop.
Truphone integration could also enable Google Voice to be less reliant on mobile data connections by utilising Truphone’s sim technology. Google could then market itself as a truly global phone company.
Why Truphone should integrate with Google Voice
Google Voice could really complement the Local Anywhere product, the features added by Voice through the web app would make the product far more compelling as well as provide a unique selling point over other roaming sim providers. The halo effect from integrating with a Google product could also drive a lot more attention to Truphone.
Other companies integrating with Google Voice is not unheard of, for example Gizmo 5 has enabled integration with Google Voice already.
I recently came across a very interesting service called Truphone Local Anywhere. Although it hasn’t launched as yet (supposedly sometime this year), it has the potential to really shake things up in the mobile market.
Essentially the service uses the existing global MVNO infrastructure Truphone received through its acquisition of Sim4Travel last year, to provide a sim that allows you to have multiple inbound numbers.
These numbers can be in several different countries, for instance you could have a number in the UK and France, where ringing either number would call your mobile phone wherever you can get mobile reception with Sim4Travel (which is pretty much anywhere in the world!). The main benefit of this is that people can call you at local rates even if you are abroad, and you don’t have to pay the extortionate roaming rates that traditional mobile carriers charge.
This video gives an intro to the service:
However information regarding the details of the service is still a bit sparse, things i’d like know:
- Will you be able to interface with the service via SIP? e.g. if I already have a DDI will I be able to forward it to the local anywhere service to answer calls?
- Will I be able to get land line numbers for it as well as mobile numbers? Having land line number could save callers a lot of money, potentially allowing people to call your mobile for free (if their land line plan includes free calls to land line numbers)
- Will the service support data as well as calls and texts, and if so will it enable realistic usage (e.g. being able to buy usage in gigabytes) at reasonable cost?
- Will it be possible to sign up to contracts (perhaps rolling 30 day contracts) to secure better pricing?
- Will there be any integration with the Truphone phone client e.g. could the voip client transparently handover calls to the gsm network when you go out of wifi range?
- Will call charges be the same as Sim4Travel? How will the extra inbound numbers be priced, or will that be recouped through call charges?
- If you port your number to the service, can you port it back out to another mobile carrier as per normal? e.g. using a PAC code
- Could you have more than one number in one country e.g. one for personal use and one for business?
- Will it be possible to integrate the service with ENUM?