Tata Communications has launched a white label mobile VoIP service that will be offered as part of Voice Business Apps suite of the company. It also released an app to showcase the service, which is targeted at Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and other retail voice providers.
The service has all the features one would see in a messaging or VoIP service available in the market — which friend is using the service, make video/audio calls over the Internet, messaging and social hub where you can play games. It also has features such as audio/video conferencing, voicemail and caller ID. However, the app Tata has released in the market now, does not let you make paid calls and we couldn’t find a way to add funds for the same.
The white label option will let operators monetize chat, messaging or other integrated communication tools; generate incremental revenue with free on-net and more affordable off-net voice calls. It also offers design customisations, MNOs can customise the colors and design of dialer, buttons, apart from adding the brand’s logo through out the application. The app can also be integrated into existing user management, billing and reporting platforms through a web API. The company also adds that mobile operators will remain in control of the customer relationship.
Enhanced features include instant video conferencing, follow-me, private numbers, voicemail, identity numbers and local numbers in geographies where permissible. A full suite of IP-PBX features also opens opportunities for retail service providers in the SMB/SME space.
Whom are they competing with?
There are plenty of VoIP apps in the marketplace with Skype being the biggest player. These apps are extremely popular, so getting companies to shift to a white label solution just because it’s a white label solution might not be very easy.
Instant messaging and VoIP company Nimbuzz has also been trying something similar, by making it possible for several service providers to use their platform to enable VoIP services. Nimbuzz had said that they were targetting the enterprise sector with the solution, who were otherwise restricted to their default telcom provider for VoIP.
It is important to note that a company needs to have a unified license to create such a service which is one of the reasons why Tata seems to be targeting MNOs with this service and not corporates directly. Using Tata’s offering telecos could offer custom branded applications that would use the license of the teleco and backend of Tata.
It is an interesting product, but it’s not clear what kind of a solution corporates are looking for in India. If they are happy with services such as Skype, they might not have reason to use a service such as the one offered by Tata or the type offered by Nimbuzz.