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Mobile VoIP using the Nokia N90

November 6, 2006
I’ve just had my first Mobile to PC VoIP call using a fascinating product called Fring. The actual voice call was impressive considering the quality of the audio, but it did seem to be half-duplex in the delivery (in other words we couldn’t both speak at the same time).
The amazing part of the call was that my friend in the UK didn’t have to install anything new or sign up for the service. That’s because Fring connects directly into the Skype & Google Talk networks. Once I had the application installed on my Nokia N90, it access all my contacts in both Google Talk & Skype (including showing their online status), and then I just select the user to call or text message them.
Fring’s ability to extend existing VoIP communities through an easy to use interface, takes a lot of the complexity away from setting up a call as well as the ability to view the user’s presence status.
The Fring application is using around 1Mb per 15 minutes according to a support question on their website, so whilst on some 3G data plans this will be more expensive than doing a standard mobile call, the bit rate compared to other products is quite impressive.
With all the talk around of how some telecommunications carriers are starting to block VoIP ports, not to mention how some countries in the Middle East and elsewhere are making them illegal to use outright, it will be interesting to see how the market dynamics will pan out for these types of products.
At the moment Fring is only available on certain Nokia handsets (Symbian 8 – Series 60 and N Series phones) with other devices coming online soon.
Posted by Shane Williamson.
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