There are plenty of companies trying to offer services that let Facebook users place voice calls to each other, but there aren’t all that many that already offer their own voice services. T-Mobile is taking a chance on the Facebook-obsessed crowd with a new application called Bobsled that could give people a reason to bypass its services.
Bobsled is an interesting gambit from T-Mobile for several reasons. It’s not a mobile application just yet, but a Facebook application that anyone–not just T-Mobile customers–can use as part of Facebook’s chatting services to place voice calls. It uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology similar to applications like Skype or Jajah to carry voice signals, and it extends T-Mobile’s brand into a service that has nothing to do with wireless, one of the few times a wireless carrier has tried to break the “dumb pipe” perception by bypassing the pipe altogether.
T-Mobile said it eventually wants to release versions of Bobsled for various mobile operating systems “regardless of the carrier that powers such devices” and turn the application into more of a true competitor to services like Skype by adding video calls and the ability to call landline and mobile numbers, not just Facebook users.
Bobsled uses Vivox’s VoiceEverywhere service, and the two companies have entered into a partnership around the Bobsled service, according to Vivox.