Feeds

Tesco Internet Phone rings off the hook

Another VoIP op goes titsup

Boost IT visibility and business value

Tesco is pulling the plug on its foray into VoIP, giving customers a month to find an alternative to its Tesco Internet Phone and Talk Wi-Fi services.

From today customers can no longer top up their pre-paid accounts and refunds are available for outstanding credit. The supermarket will refund the cost of the handset if you bought it in the last three months*, but both Tesco Internet Phone and Talk Wi-Fi will be shutting down come April 27.

Back when the service was launched it seemed as though consumer VoIP was going to change telephony forever, and the addition of the Tesco brand was welcomed by an industry which felt that lack of awareness was the only thing preventing VoIP services changing the world.

But existing operators weren’t so easily beaten off. VoIP's main impact has been to drive down the price of phone calls for everyone else, while VoIP companies were attacked by those existing operators for failing to provide emergency service calls and not working during a power cut.

Tesco said in a statement that "trends in technology have moved forward since we launched internet phone so that this is no longer a sustainable service". This appears to mean that the supermarket is busy expanding its mobile network and doesn't want to confuse customers with too many products which won't appeal to the majority.

Tesco Internet Phone was basically a VoIP service along the lines of Skype, though the supermarket did offer a Vonage-like box which could interface with a normal fixed-line telephone. There was also Talk Wi-Fi, which enabled handsets equipped with a SIP client, and Wi-Fi, to use the Tesco service for outgoing calls.

Tesco certainly sees a future in mobile. It's been running a branded service on O2's network for a few years now and recently started fitting its supermarkets out with micro-stores specialising in mobile telephony. But the VoIP business just isn't big enough to interest a giant like Tesco. ®

*That is, after December 27, 2009.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.