Nokia hedges bets on VOIP services

Nokia offers a new VOIP over Wi-Fi service together with technology that helps operators control it

At the same time that Nokia is enabling multimedia mobile applications like VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), it's helping operators limit such services.

On one hand Nokia is rolling out services that let phone users make free calls. Separately, however, it has been offering technology that can let operators decide to make the services low priority.

For example on Wednesday, Nokia introduced a new offering that allows Nokia N80 phone users to make VOIP over Wi-Fi calls via SIPphone's Gizmo service. Nokia is offering a feature on the phone that lets users download a file that configures the VOIP settings to easily enable the use of Gizmo.

Gizmo customers can call each other for free although N80 Gizmo users could incur costs for accessing Wi-Fi networks. SIPphone also offers free calling to landline phones in some countries.

Nokia also recently introduced support for Skype VOIP calls on its N73 phones for customers who subscribe to an upcoming offering from 3 Group, the operator owned by Hutchison Whampoa. That offering uses the 3G (third-generation) network, rather than Wi-Fi.

While end users might be pleased with such offerings, which can allow them to save on their mobile phone bills because they enable free or low-cost calling, operators have typically been reluctant to enable the services. VOIP on cell phones competes with the voice services that operators offer and also uses up network bandwidth that the operators might prefer to dedicate to more revenue-intensive offerings.

So while Nokia is introducing applications that help end users take advantage of VOIP and other multimedia services, it is also trying to help operators ensure that customers don't use them extensively.

Last week, Nokia introduced Peer-to-peer Traffic Control, software that allows mobile operators to identify data traffic on their networks according to the type of service and then prioritize that traffic based on preferred services. That means operators can decide to make certain services, like VOIP, low priority so that if the network is full of traffic from more important services, the VOIP users won't get network access.

The traffic control product likely won't help operators hoping to control use of the Gizmo VOIP offering because that operates over Wi-Fi networks, which are typically owned by third parties or end users.

The seemingly opposing offerings from Nokia indicate a general hedging of bets in the mobile world, said Darren Siddall, an analyst at Gartner. On one hand, operators don't want their networks to be used mainly by services they aren't making money on. But they also want to discover which applications are popular with users and figure out how to earn revenue from such services, Siddall said. "There's a lot of uncertainty about which applications users will find valuable," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?