Blog Post

A Mobile VoIP Forecast & What's Up With Jajah, Raketu & mig33

[qi:090] Mobile VoIP is going to become a major force over the next five years, rapidly outpacing voice over Wi-Fi, according to a recently released report by research firm Disruptive Analysis. The report predicts that the number of VoIP over 3G users will top 250 million by the end of 2012 — from virtually zero in 2007. The caveat, of course, is if carriers allow it. If T-Mobile’s recent fracas with Truphone is any indication, the carriers are worried about VoIP over 3G.

* mig33, a mobile communications service provider, is adding over 20,000 users a day and now has eight million subscribers. The company is adding new features and slowly becoming a mobile social network. And as they get their makeover, Jajah is adding a new service that reminds me of the old mig33, Rebtel and Talkplus.

* Jajah’s new service, called Jajah Direct, will allow you to make international calls for free or at local rates. Go to the their Local Access Number web site, enter the international number you want to call and get connected. After your first call, you will receive a unique local number for each of your contacts that you can store in your phone or address book for future dialing.

Jajah’s Frederik Hermann just emailed and said that “you never have to be online to sign up for JAJAH Direct, you can sign up over the phone and manage your account from there. We will give out the local access number to our premier target groups, immigrants and expats on a flyer and they can go from there, no Internet access needed.”

* Jajah’s service needs at least one-time access to a PC. Raketu, by comparison, recently introduced an SMS-based VoIP callback service. You send an SMS message to a local number and include in the message the number you want to dial; N.Y.-based Raketu then calls you and connects you to the number you are trying to reach.

The funny thing is that despite all these service, the calling-card business isn’t taking a nosedive. I guess the people that most need to shave pennies off their phone bills — primarily immigrants — find it’s easier to just buy their minutes in $10 increments from the corner store.

Related posts:

* Rebtel, Jajah and Callback 2.0
* The Telco battle: Of mice and incumbents.

12 Responses to “A Mobile VoIP Forecast & What's Up With Jajah, Raketu & mig33”

  1. Marco,

    I am asking a very simple and straight forward question.

    I am not a user of mig33 but I am prepared to believe it is an excellent product based on feedback from individuals on various web sources. What individuals say, counts.

    I am not “bashing” the product or the company. Though I would bash hyped up market figures or figures that are not defined properly or explained. (I used to work in market research so I have a general passing interest in “market estimates”.)

    Regarding well-know brands, I mentioned two, unless you think Jajah and Skype don’t deserve that appellation.

    8m mig33 users still seems pretty amazing (incredible) to me compared with 2-3m Jajah users, 5m Skype for Windows Mobile downloads.

    Has anyone else got figures that they can mention? I am happy to be proved unnecessarily unbelieving.

  2. Marco Cooper


    I have seen some previous posts from you and notice you seem to have a habit of “mig bashing”.

    Who are these “better known brands?” you keep referring to and why do you have such an issue with Mig33 user numbers?


  3. “no one is matching the rates that calling cards offer. particularly to the more expensive destinations. i can call german moniles from the US for 5.5 cents(US) the best deal VOIP costs twice as much.”

    That’s not true at all. A flat-rate service like Voip Discount slaughters any phone card.

  4. Om

    What is your source for the number of mig33 users? And what exactly is a user in this context?

    8 million users for the mig33 mobile phone download application is incredible when you compare it with numbers for “similar” products from well established / better known brands.

    e.g. 5m downloads for Skype for Windows Mobile; 2-3m Jajah users;

    I know it is difficult to compare like with like, and so on, but I think the figures you quote need clarification.

  5. no one is matching the rates that calling cards offer. particularly to the more expensive destinations. i can call german moniles from the US for 5.5 cents(US) the best deal VOIP costs twice as much.

    what is likely to happen with mobile VOIP is that the operators will inded allow it; but not for free. in places like USA that deplete airtime minutes for inbound/outbound calls they are likely to chage the usual rate. perhaps other places they will charge a fee for unlimited monthy. 3 skypephone is the start.

    i predict the operator sanctioned services will all use the same voice channel as other voice. this makes sense; there is a reason all cell phone voice has not moved to data IP packets. the current way is more reliable with current technologies.

    i exoect in the next six months to see skype and gtalk each team up with a major global carrier.

    there may continue to be people who manage to use SIP stacks over the data channel on an unlimted data plan. But this will be the minority. many more of us will be using skype2skype to avoid international or mobile termination charges but paying the carrier in another form(such as subscription charges)

  6. herman manfred

    “…The caveat, of course, is if carriers allow it…”

    AT&T Wireless is unambiguous about VOIP in their Terms of Service:


  7. Jajah Direct sounds interesting. I’ll give it a shot this week. For PC, I’ve been using Voip Discount. It’s a steal–10 Euros for three months of calling. I noticed that Pat Phelan’s Yak4Ever has shut down. That left me without a mobile solution for international calls. The timing of this post is excellent. Thanks Om!!!