Feeds

Tesco Internet Phone rings off the hook

Another VoIP op goes titsup

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?