O-FONE takes on Skype

O-Fone logo
But can it beat Skype?

A new Symbian s60 application has been unveiled that can be downloaded to Symbian-capable mobile phones, transforming them into VoIP-ready handsets.

Skype’s penetration of the mobile market has been steady if not spectacular; with native applications for a number of Three network phones, and the Skype phone as well.

Utilising data packets to transmit voice calls, VoIP mobile telephony makes a lot of sense, though still hasn’t taken off in the way anticipated by revolutionising mobile and landline call costs.

O-FONE promises to make the whole process a lot easier and more transparent, enabling users to transfer their existing mobile contacts to the application.

You need your friends

However, like so many similar schemes before it, the only real advantages appear when a large number of your friends take up the scheme too, so it means a huge marketing push will be needed to make-or-break the technology.

In fairness, O-FONE is also trying to make the process of managing your account a lot simpler. They “promise they will be the first global MVNO 2.0 based on VoIP technology, which will include on-line multi-level billing and an on-line secured payment system.”

While this may seem a bit complex, essentially buying the necessary credits / paying your bills will be a lot more transparent and safe, and may incite potential users to try out the application at least.

However, the company does ask you to ‘try out what you’ve been missing for the last 200 years’ on their website…it’s hard to believe, when the first call was made back in 1876 with the famous phrase "Mr Watson — Come here — I want to see you", the recipient thought: “Well, this is OK I guess. I just wish I could send these sounds as data packets on the move to save on my line rental and call charges, and some transparency to the online payment system would be nice too.”

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.