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Summary:

Rebtel is hoping a new update to its BlackBerry app will help it make up some ground on VoIP leader Skype. The app now allows Rebtel BlackBerry users to make free international phone calls to other Rebtel users on BlackBerry and Android apps.

rebtelReleaseGraphic_BB_SMS

Rebtel has Skype in its sights and is hoping a new update to its BlackBerry app will help it make up some ground on the VoIP leader. The app now allows Rebtel BlackBerry users to make free international phone calls to other Rebtel users on BlackBerry and Android apps.

We wrote about Rebtel launching its free international calling on Android back in June. This works in the same way and expands it to BlackBerry devices. The app runs in the background and intercepts an international call placed to another Rebtel user. A user will still have to use their carrier minutes for the call, but the international part of the call is free, and it doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection. It works for the 50 countries Rebtel supports.

This is in addition to Rebtel’s existing plan for cheap calls between international users, which involves Rebtel creating a local number for a user to call when they call a contact in a foreign country. There’s a way to make those calls free too, by one person hanging up and calling their friend back. The new BlackBerry app should greatly expand the number of people who can take advantage of the simpler way of making international calls for free through the Rebtel app. Rebtel also launched an iPhone app in 2009, but the free international calling feature won’t come to the iPhone until this spring.

This is all part of Rebtel’s larger goal to become a bigger VoIP challenger to Skype. The company, which already bills itself as the world’s largest independent mobile VoIP company, said it now has more than 9 million callers, and more than one billion minutes of international calls logged. Rebtel’s revenue more than doubled in 2010 to about $40 million and is projected to hit $75 million this year. Those numbers still put it far behind Skype, which this week hit a new record of up to 27 million users online at any moment and recorded 6.4 billion minutes of calls to landlines and mobiles in the first half of 2010. But as Rebtel matures and rides the growth of smartphones, it should be a solid No. 2 in voice calls; though as Skype is showing, the game is moving to mobile video as well, something Rebtel has no answer for yet.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. “Rebtel’s revenue more than doubled in 2010 to about $40 million and is projected to hit $75 million this year. Those numbers still put it far behind Skype, which this week hit a new record of up to 27 million users online at any moment and recorded 6.4 billion minutes of calls to landlines and mobiles in the first half of 2010″

    comparing Rebtel revenue with skype users!! most skype users bring no revenue and will continue so..

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  2. Jacob Langvad Friday, January 14, 2011

    Skype could easily fight back by making their application available across all mobile providers. Today, it’s only available on BlackBerries with Verizon.

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    1. From an Android perspective, you’re correct: Skype does have a deal with Verizon. But the app is also available on iOS devices (even those without carriers, such as Wi-Fi devices) and Symbian. Would love to see the U.S. exclusivity between Skype – Verizon for Android go away though — hopefully before Google integrates video chat through Google Talk, which is native to Android 3.0 / Honeycomb.

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      1. Roshan Shrestha Friday, January 14, 2011

        I have Skype on my TMobile Android device, and it is available in the Android marketplace. Although, for me, Skype works over WiFi only. Maybe the Verizon version works over 3G. I know my wife’s iPhone version does work over 3G.

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        1. Roshan, I’m so glad you mentioned this! I just hit the Market on my Nexus One and grabbed the download. For some reason, I thought it was still a VZ exclusive. Thanks!

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  3. Interesting topic. Want real mvoip

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  4. I don’t know why there is still no SIP client or full skype app for blackberrys.

    After looking at http://www.bbin.in/en/2010/06/sip-blackberry-blackvoib-beta/ there should be SIP apps or mVoip apps for BlackBerry

    One more – http://www.bbin.in/en/2010/12/fgvoip-for-blackberry-for-sip-clients/

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