Feeds

RIM adds VoIP digivoice calls to BBM youngster-messaging ware

Skype, Facetime ... the writing's on the wall

The Power of One Infographic

BlackBerry Messenger 7 will support VoIP calls as well as messaging, and is available now to download to BlackBerry OS 6 or better, with 5 to follow soon.

It's a beta version, but adds a Voice Call button to the BBM experience, when the other party has the software installed and is connected to a Wi-Fi network, instantly turning the company's hugely popular messaging platform into something which could seriously upset the network operators - that's if every other handset weren’t offering the same thing.

But adding VoIP to BBM is significant as it deals with the two big issues preventing VoIP from taking over the world: getting one's contacts into the same platform and ensuring they have enough connectivity to receive the call, both of which are addressed with their BlackBerry ID.

Users entering a BBM chat with a contact, as they already do, will simply see a Voice Call option if that user is home to audio contact, and users upgrade support for VoIP will spread, assuming they upgrade within the BlackBerry family of course.

This kind of behaviour can seriously upset network operators, which still make the vast majority of their revenue from voice calls, but with Apple pitching FaceTime and Microsoft finally integrating Skype into Windows Phone, it's way too late for the operators to complain.

RIM may be playing catch-up with Apple and Microsoft, but it gains from the loyalty of BBM users, the younger generation of which came for the free alternative to text message that BM offered, but these days are mainly hanging around 'cos that's where their mates still are.

Adding voice is significant to that market, and RIM needs to keep them onside for at least the next couple of months until its new BlackBerry 10 hardware goes on show. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Application security programs and practises
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.