Mobile VoIP Comes to BlackBerry Devices

40 Comments

If there was one app I’ve desperately wanted on my T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold (s rimm), it was a good mobile VoIP client that allows me to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi and 3G connections. It would be even better if that client was made by Skype. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

In fact, there hasn’t been a native mobile VoIP application for the BlackBerry platform. Instead, we have apps that use either callback or a local access number over the cellular networks. The other three major smartphone platforms — iPhone OS (s aapl), Android (s goog) and Symbian (s nok) — have multiple mobile VoIP applications, including Nimbuzz and Truphone.

Nearly 100 million users are expected to be using mobile VoIP by 2012. With over 471 billion calls likely to be made via mobile VoIP by 2015, it seems BlackBerry has been missing out on the party. That changes today. TringMe, an Indian VoIP startup based in Bangalore, has introduced a new VoIP application for BlackBerry OS (works with Blackberry OS versions 4.2 to 5.0) that can make calls over Wi-Fi. It allows for a single-click, worldwide conference calling, and when there’s no Wi-Fi, it can switch to the local-access number/callback over the cellular network.

If you want to try it, go to http://bb.tringme.com via your BlackBerry browser. After you install the app, “Call Using TringMe” appears as an option when you want to call a contact from the address book or call log. TringMe is offering a white label version of this application to companies that want to extend their internal voice systems to employee BlackBerry devices. You can also use your own SIP provider, except you have to configure your SIP settings, which isn’t an easy task.

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

Report: Google’s Voice Possibilities

How TringMe Mobile VoIP Client for Blackberry works.

40 Comments

Shoeb Ahmed

I don’t know about TringMe. I installed it on 5.0 after seeing their post here saying a week later it will be supported.

However, it hasn’t worked on my Storm 9550 on 5.0. Even the contact list isn’t showing up as complete. I don’t want callback, I want wifi.

WiFi calling would work well because when I’m in one country and my friend is in another, we both install TringMe and call each other over WiFi for free!

But alas, it doesn’t work.
Apps like Blackvoib, are over SIP.. meaning you need to have SIP capabilities. Apps like TringMe are app dependant – as in if both parties have TringMe, the call is free!

Shoeb Ahmed

Oh, also, what happened to their Twitter account? Well over a week with no update for 5.0, and device support page not up (for example, my Storm 9550 seems to not allow me to check/uncheck a few things.. including the autostart on boot checkmark)

TringMe has promise, but I guess they need to start operating their company like grownups as well. Because in this day and age, as good as a product can be.. it’s members are equally supposed to be good to make it a good company.

Anirudh Goel

it works for me on 5.0, ensure that you are using their latest version.

Sasi Kumar

I do not know why this would be the first application when we are selling BB VoIP with handoff capability for now over a quarter. uMobility clients are available not only on BB but also on Android, iPhone, Nokia Symbian and WM 6.x platform. You should really check out uMobility as it works with most of the PBXes and soft switches. uMobility is software only and does not provide service. This where we come into the picture! Check out http://www.comeraservices.com.

Raymond Padilla

As an international traveler, I love T-Mobile’s UMA. It looks like a lot of you are fans as well. The one thing UMA doesn’t provide that TringMe does is cheap international calling. Sure, there are other services that provide that, but from what Om describes, this seems to be tightly integrated into BB OS. I’m mildly interested in this product, but don’t see myself keeping my BlackBerry (which already my secondary phone) much longer. Android and iOS offer so much more.

Aaron Klein

I don’t care that much about VOIP calling on my BlackBerry. What I really want is video calling using the camera. Not sure why Skype or some other platform doesn’t have a video calling app that works across BlackBerry, iPhone and Android.

Even if it was wi-fi only, it would be a hit.

Johnny M

T Mobile with UMA is and will remain for now the best wifi application, as it forms part of the primary dialer and not secondary, albeit it not “free”.

I have used it in over 30 countries and it just works. As for other PBX extensions this particular app, is like many dial back applications designed to make money from calls. If I want to connect to my Open SIPS server, give me a price to pay for the app, but don’t charge me per minute for the call.

MVS is here, it works, but remains financially out of reach for the non enterprise user for now, that is till the service is offered on a hosted model.

Expect an application from other vendors like Counterpath soon, with tunnel support and G729 which is vital for most mobility VOIP applications.

Aninda

How many handsets are UMA compatible? A very few? On top of that, it’s again through operators so you pay the same rate and in any case higher that these MobileVoIP providers. To be honest, UMA (or GAN) looks good only on paper and not in reality.

Andreas

It has been said before but I say it again: BlackVoib was first.

sander

I went to the link, the site opens and says: to find treasure you must surf here from your BB device

I did. Where is the treasure ;)

Paul Billings

Toktumi has a blackberry client that allows incoming and outgoing VOIP calls over 3g and WiFi. I also have it on my iPad. $15 per month, unlimited. Works well on my 9700 for the most part.

tom

something quite interesting about this is tringme seems to be able to tunnel VOIP so it looks like email and works on email only blackberry plans. several operators including AT&T offer email only blackberry plans with free international roaming.

so you can now get an international blackberry plan and make VOIP calls around the world paying only your provider charges in addition to your fixed monthly fee for email.

i am pretty sure the carriers will not be happy about this.

Amine Berrada

For Wifi Calls, T-Mobile UMA is an incredible technology. I live in an area where Cell phone is very poor. Not even Verizon has good service. With UMA, I have perfect 4 bar signal and I never drop calls or miss calls. I can basically make free calls anywhere there is internet signal. Take two seconds to connect and start calling. The phone will automatically pick the UMA signal once I connect once. For example, every time I’m near a Starbucks, the phone will pick up the UMA signal. Not sure why this technology is not very popular. I havent tried it but I believe you can also use it overseas. THANK YOU T-MOBILE…:)

Johnny Wireless

GigaOm is the worst tech site on the internet…tell me genius what is mobile about wifi?

Are you kidding me? Get your act together or get a real job.
Making calls on a Wifi network is NOT MOBILE VOIP!

birendra

Hi,

Excellent Application , even googling did not help to find VoIP on my Blackberry 8320 . Just tried VoIP call after reading GigaOM post , works flawless !!!!

Hasnain

Hey guys I just downloaded the app for my Bold 9700. Im a bit confused. I tested one local call and it worked perfectly fine. If i make a long distance call is it free? how does this work. and if its not free what is so special about this app?

andy

I don’t care much for wifi calls but the single click conference or whatever these guys call it is really a convenient feature. I don’t think I have seen a simpler interface than this even for a desktop or web application. kudos guys.

Yusuf Motiwala

Thanks Om for the coverage.
 
Thank you all for the comments and nice words. This is the first version and we sincerely looking forward to feedback. Feel free to write to us at support at tringme dot com if you have any queries or issues

Paul

T-Mobile has offered BlackBerry VOIP-over-WiFi calls for years now.

Thomas J

ok, so I just gave it a spin and it works. But I only want to use native phone dialer to use this application often.

secondly, there are a lot of “call options” for me to select – I don’t want to keep changing it for wifi/callback/local number.

Jeff

Holy c*ap, wifi call on my BB! Man, this app is really gonna take off!

Brian S Hall

Yeah. I’m really surprised this hasn’t already existed. Maybe because so much of Blackberry sales are via the enterprise, who are paying for it (and the calls).

Brian

I just tried the wifi call on my 4.6 device and it worked fine, but as i can see from screenshots, wifi calling isn’t supported for 5.0. I hope they can support it on 5.0 soon.

So I am really curious to know what took it so long to support wifi calls on blackberry? I had been looking for free wifi calling application on blackberry for months now.

Om Malik

Brian

The company says they can support the 5.0 OS so very curious to find out the facts myself.

If anyone else finds out, please share. I have an older bberry myself for now.

Anil (TringMe)

@Brian @Om, the application will work fine on 5.0. On 5.0, WiFi calling had been disabled at the last moment since we found a random crash on some of the 5.0 devices. However, rest of the functionality should work on 5.0. We will have an updated version that will support 5.0 based WiFi calling in a week’s time.

Joey

I have a Bold 9700 5.0. It does not work using WiFi Voip. It does work with call back.

Rob Hurst

native Wifi calls from my blackberry, what I have been waiting for since I started saving massively using the truphone application. As voice quality on truphone is outstanding could you guys also add Native WiFi calling like TringMe. @truphone

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