Feeds

FringOut phones home

Similar to SkypeOut but like totally different

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Fring is trialling its own version of SkypeOut, the innovatively named FringOut, allowing Fring users to call fixed lines even if they still can't speak to Skype users.

Fring users can now call up people who aren't using Fring, without paying a monthly fee or connection charge, as long as they're using a Symbian handset and prepared to sign up to the trial, and don't mind being on a separate network from their Skype-touting mates.

Fring started out as a way of getting Skype onto a mobile phone, creating a gateway into the Skype service with an innovative business model that, unfortunately, proved too complicated to survive. The application then morphed into identity aggregation - offering a single logon to multiple messaging and VoIP networks with the intention of making money by hosting identities.

When that got more difficult, the business moved into an advertising model with banner ads embedded in the application, and that's still how the company hopes to make money. FringOut, therefore, is an additional service to hook customers, rather than a revenue-generating operation.

Such hooks are increasingly important to Fring, whose falling-out with Skype has left it without the killer feature with which it was spawned. Skype was happy to have Fring providing mobile access while it was free, but now there's advertising revenue to be gained Skype sees no reason it should allow Fring onto its network.

The question is if Fring can hang onto its users long enough to build a competitive service without Skype. Which is why it needs a FringOut capability, which it reckons is competitive with SkypeOut.

SkypeOut users have to either pay a monthly fee, or a connection charge of between three and six pence depending on the call. FringOut dispenses with both, but might cost slightly more depending on where you're calling (feel free to compare Fring with Skype, but remember that the former is inclusive of VAT, while the latter is not).

This kind of service is intensely price-competitive, so margins are paper thin with fickle customers willing to switch networks to save a few cents a minute. Fring is obliged to provide the service or lose customers, but it won't be easy to compete with Skype on rates given Skype's economies of scale.

That makes FringOut more of a retention service than one which will bring in new customers, though the company will be hoping to attract new users too. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.