Wi-Fi devices get mobile calling ability


Movirtu launches virtual SIM for Wi-Fi-only mobile tablets and laptops to make mobile calls

Movirtu, provider of identity solutions for mobile operators, has unveiled CloudPhone, which uses virtual SIM technology to enable calls over Wi-Fi networks from non-SIM tablets and laptops using mobile phone numbers.

A white labelled solution, Movirtu CloudPhone allows mobile operators to extend the reach of mobile services to non-SIM devices, bringing operators' mobile numbers to the internet.

Operators can raise revenue by providing virtual SIMs to existing subscribers (and other operators' subscribers,) from upgraded plans, and from terminating calls. Operators can also boost roaming revenues via CloudPhone, while at the same time users can benefit from reduced roaming costs.

Applicable to both business and consumer segments, CloudPhone gives operators an effective solution to the growing competition from the likes of Skype and other OTT VoIP providers, and reduces churn by making users' mobile numbers their principal identity for calls on non-SIM tablets and laptops.

With CloudPhone, tablets and laptops become virtual smartphones, freeing business users and consumers from being tied to their handset, for example when out of mobile coverage or when their smartphone is low on battery.

Based on the WebRTC standards, Movirtu's CloudPhone is offered to operators as an end to end service with white labelled clients that provide a smartphone-like calling experience. Calls can be made and received to and from international and local mobile and landline numbers, using mobile numbers and their associated mobile subscriptions.

Delivering mobile services on Wi-Fi and a user experience similar to that on a phone, CloudPhone is an alternative to Femtocells in low coverage zones, eradicating the associated operational, technical and cost overheads faced by mobile operators who deploy and support femtocells.

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO at Movirtu, said: 'Mobile coverage issues and challenges with smartphone battery life need no longer be a problem for users. With CloudPhone, they can use their mobile number from a tablet or laptop to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi. CloudPhone makes it easy for operators to extend their reach, bringing mobile numbers to the internet and even offering virtual numbers to other operators' subscribers. This delivers a competitive advantage while also increasing revenues and reducing churn.'

Richard Absalom, senior analyst with Ovum's Enterprise Mobility and Productivity practice, added: 'In today's IT environment where users work from multiple devices – often using a laptop, tablet and smartphone to get their job done – there is an expectation that they be able to access all their content and mobile services, no matter where they are or what particular device they happen to have with them. From this point of view, tying a phone number and thus an identity to every device an individual uses is a logical move for mobile operators looking to embrace and leverage multi-screening behaviour.'


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