12/09/2006

Fring, free calls on your mobile

Well OK Fring isn't free, but uses VoIP and P2P technologies utilising the data aspects of a mobile to transport voice i.e. free with a sensible data plan.

The client currently works on various Nokia handsets, but support for others is planned. Register your number and you get an SMS with an embedded link to download the software which then installs once the link is clicked.

On "3" it took several attempts for the software to register with the Fring service, but it eventually got there.

Fring can be used just with other Fring users using VoIP, but also supports GoogleTalk and Skype, they also took a few attempts at registering.

Trying Skype wasn't too pleasant, there were long delays and the user (in the US) heard echo - though it did work. The clarity on the phone seemed much better. Didn't manage to test GoogleTalk.

Running this on a network with an unlimited data plan could save a lot of money, but would it be considered "fair use" and will they start blocking it? If the operators don't want to lose voice revenue (which is the mainstay of their business) then they'll have to do something, but for now it does seem a pretty good service.
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