, headquartered in London, U.K. will soon be releasing a VoIP client for Windows PCs, as well as the Mac OS
. Truphone is known for their mobile VoIP apps supported on several mobile platforms including Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian, but this will be their first foray into the desktop PC environment. Unlike Skype, Truphone leverages the standard SIP protocol, so essentially Truphone will be releasing a SIP softphone client customized to work with their service offering.
What's unique about Truphone is that not only are calls other online Truphone users free, but you can send & receive SMS text messages for free. Calls to Skype and Google Talk users are also free and works over Wi-Fi & 3G. Calls or texts to other numbers are chargeable. The ability to leverage Skype's large user base to make free calls is appealing. You can also instant message users on Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and AIM. Another key advantage is you can have multiple numbers with one SIM. You can add a number for each Truphone country to your SIM, so your friends there can call you at local rates, no matter where you are
The new desktop client will bring all the advantages and features of their mobile clients to the desktop. A desktop client allows Truphone to gain the same advantages as Skype. For instance, you will have the ability to use your favorite USB headset or speakers + microphone.
I'm trying to determine if Truphone will support video calling. It's not something they've attempted with their mobile VoIP apps, but since they've adopted the SIP standard, it shouldn't be that difficult to add video call support on the desktop client side. Though I doubt they'd support Truphone-to-Skype video calls and since the Truphone userbase is much smaller than Skype, I'm not sure how useful video calling would be any way.
I'm told the software will be released very shortly. Stay tuned!