Mobile VoIP discussed at ITSPA dinner
ITSPA, the UK trade association of the internet telephony industry, held its Spring Dinner last night, attended by the great and the good of UK VoIP. The event was held at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists which must be one of the youngest Livery Companies in the City of London.
An interesting variety of organisations were represented ranging from equipment vendors Vegastream and ITSPs small and large. I sat between the Tesco and BT representatives, neither of who were willing to divulge the size of their subscriber base although word has it that BT has between 1m and 2m residential users.
After the dinner I led a debate on a number of subjects of interest to the VoIP community and one hot issue was mobile VoIP. Nokia are rumoured to not be providing a native SIP client in the N96, the next version of the N95, although the E Series will still have it.
This is clearly a strategy reversal on the part of the handset vendor, presumably the result of pressure from the mobile operator community. Mobile Operators are saying no to consumer VoIP. However it is harder for Nokia to take the same approach with it’s E series which is pitched firmly at business and which is the handset of choice for a number of iPBX vendors’ in premise FMC solutions.
As it happens not many ITSPs use the native Nokia SIP client at least not without some element of plug in to make it work and many use third party applications.
Coincidentally I spent some time discussing mobile VoIP with Tesco’s Anna Boukovskaia who told me of their plans in this space. Back in the office on Friday I noticed that The Register had an article on the subject: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/22/tesco_voip/
Tesco isn’t using the Nokia client and I imagine will be able to migrate to the N96 when available.
There are plenty of other mobile VoIP type topics but I’ll leave them for another day.