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Jajah brings VoIP to mobiles

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Jajah has launched a UK service offering cut-price mobile phone calls, by routing most of the call over the internet using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.

The idea of dialling a local number and from there being routed cheaply around the world is not new, and there are several companies who have been operating such services for years. But the majority of customers just want to dial a number and be connected, ideally at a cheap rate - they will suffer more expensive calls for the simplicity of direct dialling.

Jajah offers that same user experience by providing a Symbian application which the user runs and then dials normally. They are connected and proceed with their call, hopefully unaware that the majority of the routing is being done over the internet.

The application actually contacts the Jajah server over a data connection, and the server then makes the connection to the number dialled and calls the user back. The call is answered by the application; keeping the user experience identical to making a normal call.

Those without a Symbian handset (or with a Series 60 version 3 handset) can send an SMS to set up the call, or use their WAP browser. Jajah also provides a Java application for some handsets, but none of these options provides the simplicity of experience which sets Jajah apart from alternative services.

The real advantage comes with international calls, where the internet can be used for the long-distance routing, reducing the cost. The Jajah rates aren't as cheap as some services which do require special numbers, but are generally cheaper than just dialling the number.

Even if most of the call is routed over the internet, both ends are still carried over the traditional telephone network. This makes the service easier to use, both in terms of interfacing and technical complexity, but means it can't be quite as cheap as VoIP from end-to-end. ®

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