Feeds

FringOut phones home

Similar to SkypeOut but like totally different

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.