VoIP and Convergence company HelloSoft has announced that they are releasing a 4G tri-band “reference” phone for deployment in WiMAX markets. A $100 4G Android phone? Hard to believe, right? But wait, there’s more: this handset is going to be fully VoIP ready! Read on after the break.
What is really interesting about this announcement is that HelloSoft is saying that this handset is going to be loaded up with a full VoIP suite ready to rock and roll for end users to take advantage of. A quote from the press release;
Allan Johnson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development at HelloSoft, says, “The 4G TriPhone™ offers by far the richest feature set available anywhere for a 4G phone at a feature phone price point. It comes fully loaded with HelloSoft’s award winning VoIP and state-of-the-art convergence software suite for Android that delivers a seamless user experience across any IP network — be it 4G high speed data-on-the-go with integrated VoIP, or be it standard ubiquitous cellular. This phone solves the dilemma 4G carriers have with needing a phone in their portfolio that does everything a user’s current phone does at a similar price point (including the very important category of low cost phones), at the same time providing 4G high speed data-on-the-go where it is available as carriers expand their 4G footprint. The price-point of 4G phones to date has been a barrier to rapid volume shipments and we have seen a large pent-up demand from 4G service providers and ODMs/OEMs for this category of affordable 4G phone with many exciting features.”
When one reads that quote, it is hard not to get excited about the idea of a fully functional VoIP mobile handset, something that we are waiting on here in the States. Google is rumored to be launching VoIP using their Google Voice service, but there as of yet have been no ahndsets that are near release that have been said to take advantage of that possibility. You may be wondering what the big deal is of having a VoIP phone is, which is understandable. VoIP is a method of voice communication using your data network, instead of cellular signals. So imagine having a handset that would make and receive calls over WiFi or over your data connection when out and about. This would mean that you would use little to no cellular minutes from your plan. Pretty cool, no?
There is no word on what carrier is going to have this phone, or what service may be contracting HelloSoft to create this handset (HelloSoft works with companies such as Skype, so it could be feasible that they might use something like this), but we will keep an out to see what develops!