TruPhone Brings VoIP To Nokia Phones

U.K.-based company has developed a software solution that enables Nokia Series 60 cell phones to provide VoIP service using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

May 17, 2005

2 Min Read

A United Kingdom-based company announced Tuesday that it has developed a software solution that enables Nokia Series 60 cell phones to provide VoIP service using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology.

SCN Ltd. launched its TruPhone Beta version for use with Bluetooth-enabled cell phones. Wi-Fi will come later, the firm said.

"You won't need a special phone or any special equipment," said Gavin Miller, SCN's press officer. "All you need is the software."

Miller said the application is currently being tested by cell-phone service providers and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). The firm cited Nokia's 6630, which it is using to test the service on Bluetooth. SCN's business plan calls for it to primarily market the service to wireless providers, although the service could also be offered directly to consumers by the company. Ideally, TruPhone would be licensed to service providers, Miller indicated.

He noted that the key to the service is the 3G and 4G wireless networks currently being rolled out worldwide. VoIP needs the robust advanced cell networks to operate efficiently; TruPhone has been created so subscribers using VoIP would be automatically switched to their 3G or 4G networks when they moved beyond their Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections.

Asked to describe Nokia's place in the TruPhone development and rollout, Miller said Nokia--the largest cell phone provider in the world--has no formal development involvement with SCN or its TruPhone. However, SCN is a Forum Nokia PRO member and has the advantages of using the standards that are open in the Nokia universe. Nokia's Model 60 Series is based on the Symbian OS, which offers a variety of open standards to firms and developers committed to the Symbian model.

SCN's director of engineering Andy McEwan said the company will demo its technology at next week's VON meeting in Stockholm. More than 125 companies are expected to attend The VoIP business conference.

Miller said the company envisions the TruPhone system being implemented on corporate enterprise networks using Series 60 phones. SCN uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth access points that are routed over IP via SIP. Companies with a large number of employees can establish their own server-based SCN Web telephoning system in an approach that can keep a lid on the number of employees using expensive cellular systems.

Miller said SCN plans to introduce Wi-Fi enabled phones after a successful launch and shipment of Bluetooth phones. An inexpensive Bluetooth TruPhone adapter can transform a computer into a simple and low-cost access point, SCN said.

"TruPhone is very simple," said Miller. "All you need is a software download."

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