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Summary:

Ah, it was supposed to be the day to recover from the throbbing pain in my head, lying around and generally doing nothing. For some odd reason, I powered up my Macbook Pro, and discovered this Nokia Gizmo Project meme. The not-exactly accurate nature of all […]

Ah, it was supposed to be the day to recover from the throbbing pain in my head, lying around and generally doing nothing. For some odd reason, I powered up my Macbook Pro, and discovered this Nokia Gizmo Project meme.

The not-exactly accurate nature of all the talk, much like iSkoot (not Skype) on Symbian phones is what prompted me to give up the lazy Monday.

There is a lot of talk about Nokia putting my favorite, The Gizmo Project, on their WiFi-enabled mobile phones. Unfortunately, it is a gross exaggeration.


The Gizmo Project, a VoIP service from Michael Robertson’s SIPphone, currently works on one Nokia phone – the Nokia N80ie. (ie=Internet Edition.) That’s it – one phone that costs a whopping $499, and is currently not sold by any U.S. carrier. You have to buy it directly from Nokia.

The only other device manufactured by Nokia that supports Gizmo Project is the Nokia 770 Tablet. I admit, the service works flawlessly on both devices. I often use it to call India to save on international long distance calls, which are exorbitantly priced by Cingular, my GSM carrier of choice.

Two devices don’t make a Nokia Mobile VoIP revolution. Moreover, there are nearly half a dozen Nokia phones with WiFi and VoIP capabilities, but they don’t do Gizmo VoIP.

I wonder why Nokia has chosen to work with Gizmo Project, when most of Nokia’s devices come bundled with their own VoIP application. I think its because those VoIP capabilities are as useless as the built-in IM client Nokia bundles with most of its phones. (Some folks tell me that there are NAT issues that cause problems.)

To makethe Nokia VoIP app work with any other VoIP service, say Broadvoice, is so frustrating that it could soon have you reaching for those leftover holiday wines. (I tried it with an Asterisk-based service a friend rigged up for us, without success!) What is even more confounding is that Nokia is making VoIP work on an N Series device, targeting consumers.

VoIP should be a top priority on their E-Series smart phones: these devices are targeted at the business user, have WiFi, and are VoIP capable. Business users make a lot of calls, and could actually be the ones who could use the money savings offered by a Gizmo.

Since E Series phones (hypothetically) use the same Symbian S60 operating system, you would think it would be relatively easy to port Gizmo onto these devices. Unfortunately, that is not the case, because each phone model has its own set of quirks and settings. This indeed is the Achilles heel of mobile VoIP, and we are a long way from solving these problems.

Also see: Truphone, E-Series’ best friend.

  1. Om, wouldn’t it just be easier to keep a 770 with you and use that? The biggest utility for me in having a mobile is that I can use the phone to make intl calls wherever I am, not just in a wifi area. From that perspective, something like jajah or MINO wireless is far more useful.

    /vijay

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  2. i recommend to wait for 3-4 month; samsung launching their “i600″ that have win mobile 5 + wifi + 3G then you can run skype or other voip services all the other mobile companies will probably do the same…

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  3. Simple… Nokia wants you to use the N-series for personal use, and buy a separate E-series for office use with the corporate SIP server.

    And, the IM client is not useless. You can use it with the Neustar IM platform or other OMA IMPS service providers.

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  4. Mr Malik, you have a few things really mixed up in your head.

    The N80 runs the same VoIP application that the E-series Nokia phones run. It does NOT run the Gizmo application created for the N80. The “Gizmo executable” on the N80 Internet Edition phone is simply a SCRIPT that automatically creates a gizmo account in the phone’s Nokia-branded VoIP software stack.

    The E60, E61 and E70 run the SAME VoIP stack as the N80 Internet Edition.

    The reason that so far very few could run Gizmo and other SIP services on their E-series phones was because Nokia had not implemented STUN support yet. Now, in the 3.x firmware version for the E61, STUN works and therefore a whole bunch of free SIP providers now work, including Gizmo, FWD, VoipBuster etc.

    Please note that the E60 and E70 have not a firmware upgrade to 3.x as of yet, and so their VoIP is limited to servers that exist in the user’s side of the firewall, e.g. inside a corporation, and not the free SIP services found in the internet. When these phones are upgraded too (if Nokia releases firmware upgrades for them too), they will support Gizmo et all, as well, because they will too have STUN support in them.

    If you like the E61, which currently it can be found for $370, buy it, upgrade its firmware to 3.x using Nokia’s official NSU application, and voila! Gizmo and all other VoIP SIP services will now WORK.

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  5. Whilst it won’t run on e-series as yet try the following voip solution – works on both google talk and skype (and skype out) – on symbian handsets. Works like a charm … on both gprs and 3g!!

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  6. Whilst it won’t run on e-series as yet try the following voip solution – works on both google talk and skype (and skype out) – on symbian handsets. Works like a charm … on both gprs and 3g!! FRING (ahhhhh)

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  7. you are wrong in saying only one nokia (N80) is voip enabled phone.Check out this company http://www.fring.com .Were you can already download voip client that talks to skype clients ,for nokia phones.Presently 7 Nokia S60 phones are supported .Couple of the phones are being sold in US also through operators.
    I agree that Voip client in mobile has not penetrated to the extent required but the reason for it are many including operators reluctance and also due to limited availablity of programable phones .Infact today Nokias S60 phones are only true open platform phones with considerable volumes.But unfortunately in US S60 market share is very low which leads to posting like yours.

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  8. Dear Om Malik, your article is pretty inaccurate.

    The Nokia E-series works great with Gizmo/SIPPhone as soon as you update to a firmware version with STUN support (3.x.x for E61).

    The Gizmo “client” for N80 just auto configures the settings of the same built-in VoIP stack. The reason it claims to only support this model is that this model has STUN support in stack out-of-the-box.

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  9. Om Malik Wants VoIP on More Nokia Phones…

    Om Malik of GigaOme both praises the deployment of Gizmo Project on the N80 Internet Edition and Nokia 770 Tablet as well as scolds Nokia for not having VoIP really working on the other N and E series phones that have the capacity for it…

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  10. Hi Om,

    I wrote the Nokia-Gizmo article at Read/WriteWeb. First, I didn’t ment to trouble your recovery day, but these things happen when powering up a laptop on a holiday of course.

    Reading your post, I thought your ‘not-exactly accurate nature of all the talk’ and ‘gross exaggeration’ was a bit exaggerated from your side to be honest.

    You’re right the N80i is not available yet in US but I’m talking about my European experience, I’ll try to indcate that better next time.

    When writing about a new service, I always test it myself, that’s what I did trying out the Gizmo Project on the N80i, no more no less. I cannot see any exaggeration in my post re-reading it.

    With my article I just wanted to point out that Nokia is doing GREAT work opening up possibilities for the users, creating MORE options for the users to connect, it’s true there’s still a lot of experiment but due to these experiments and tests they move on with innovation. That’s what’s it’s all about, no?

    I definately expect more movement from Nokia in this area this year – including targetting these services to business users in US also.

    Cheers.

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