VoIP over EVDO from PeerMe

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VoIP over EVDO from PeerMe

PeerMeFound an interesting company that can do VoIP over EVDO, a popular high-speed data network used by Sprint, Verizon, and other mobile carriers. PeerMe, today launched its free service designed to allow users of Sprint EVDO mobile phones to make free unlimited calls. They currently offer a PocketPC and Windows Mobile 5 version of their client.

Actually, upon further review, my excitement over PeerMe has now waned. Although PeerMe uses VoIP technology to enable mobile phone users to communicate with other mobile phone users running PeerMe for free, it appears that PeerMe doesn't allow for PSTN calling. Thus, what you get with PeerMe is simply a PC-to-PC type service with IM capabilities. Well what's the point of that? PC-to-PC softphones and IM clients are a dime-a-dozen. How is PeerMe going to compete with the likes of Skype, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and others that offer IM, PC-to-PC, and PC-to-Phone functionality?

Well, maybe I should ask PeerMe that question. In the meantime, check out what their CEO had to say. PeerMe CEO Tom Lasater says, "Sprint has the best EVDO network in the U.S., but at the same time they have the highest churn in the industry and they signed up fewer new users than any of their competitors this year. We are giving them the ability to use their technological edge to become the leader in the U.S. wireless market."

"Nobody in the cell phone industry has done a marketing campaign touting the tremendous cost savings that can result from using peer-to-peer voice on a wireless broadband mobile device. Carriers are probably scared of cannibalizing their revenues, but lets look at the real cost of offering this service. Most people pay a flat fee for what is basically unlimited talk time within the U.S., so PeerMe usage is going to affect revenue from overseas calls. The reality is that the erosion of revenue from overseas calls already happened in the 1990s. Sprint should do a massive advertising campaign touting their EVDO-enabled devices as the solution for outrageous communications costs. Sprint could not only crush its mobile competitors with this strategy, they could also blindside the DSL and fixed-line broadband industry."

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