EQO promises speed by going native on Symbian

EQO Communications will release a faster version of its mobile VOIP application for phones running the Symbian OS, the company's CEO said Tuesday.

EQO Communications will soon release a faster version of its mobile VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) application for phones running the Symbian OS, the company's CEO said Tuesday.

EQO's VOIP application was initially written in the Java programming language, which allowed it to run on a range of OSes and phones, said Bill Tam. The new version will be written in Symbian C++, the native language for the OS.

EQO (pronounced like "echo") will run faster if it's in the native language. That also allows the application to better tap into other Symbian abilities, such as auto-detection of wireless access points, Tam said. Java applications also tend to have more security prompts that are not necessary if the application is written in the native language, he said.

EQO is a free application, and the company makes money by selling minutes to users to make calls on its network. EQO competes with other mobile VOIP applications such as Skype, although the technology is implemented differently.

EQO starts with the application dialing a local number, and then the call is moved to VOIP by EQO's proprietary mobile soft-switch platform. The caller is charged for the local call plus EQO's per-minute calling rate, but there is no data transfer fee.

Skype has an application for smartphones, but recommends that users have an unlimited 3G data plan or use Wi-Fi.

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