Web enabled telephony provider, Jajah, now owned by Telefonica, has done a deal with Facebook to provide voice calling services across the world’s leading social networking site. By Ian Scales.
In a way, this deal (or something like it), is the one the telecoms world has been waiting for. Up to now most internet telephony ‘plays’ have been low-cost variations on the conventional model - you call, they answer, you pay.
And many of these plays have foundered as a result - the simple fact is that there is no sustaining advantage in simply doing a VoIP re-run of the switched telephony business model (as we’ve pointed out a few times).
But think social networking. If you could enable ad hoc calling between social network users via the site itself, then you’re on the way to engineering a ‘next gen’ voice service that adds some real value to the telephony scene.
Jajah has just released a calling platform for Facebook which allows users to call each other “in just 1 click”. The call control is 'friend-based', in the sense that the user controls and limits telephonic access.
The caller doesn't get to see the real telephone number which means each user can use privacy controls to block out 'ex-friends.
Jajah Social Call is being launched as a mobile Beta trial, initially only on Blackberry devices (very popular with the youth demographic in many markets). It’s a simple two-stage click and call to any Facebook user for a local call charge. Unlike other Internet telephony systems, Jajah uses VoIP in the core only, with conventional telephony for access and call control from the Web.
And the announcement is also perfectly timed for TelecomTV, since we’ve just completed a global conversation on Cloud Collaboration - using cloud services to develop business relationships between various types of service provider.
As luck would have it we had a Jajah representative, Ori Soen, on our Californian ‘Resolutions’ panel talking about cloud telephony services.
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