Truphone Deal Brings Auto Hotspot Logins

Seamless connectivity saves money and pushes mobile VoIP further into the mainstream.

Mobile VoIP is one of those brilliant ideas that everyone loves in principle and steers clear of in reality, but what if it was about to become a lot easier…

To this end Truphone’s service (which we reviewed back in March) has taken an important step forward this week securing a deal with systems integration and connectivity specialist Quiconnect to enable automatic log-ons at commercial and public WiFi hotspots. There’s no need for passwords, accounts or subscriptions – all of which can be tricky to access from a mobile device.

Furthermore, the implementation itself is a clever one. Quiconnect has deals in place with numerous Hotspot providers (including BT, Sprint Nextel, SFR, VSNL, Telecom Italia and Telefonica to name but a few) and Truphone has embedded Quiconnect’s Connector application into its software. The result is whenever a Truphone user passes a WiFi hotspot (provided they have a WiFi capable device) they are automatically connected so that calls are charged over the far cheaper wireless rates. While this is of benefit in everyday use, it will be a real boon when abroad.

Even better is the cost system. To keep a cap on spending the Truphone/Quiconnect deal is not based on time spent at each hotspot or even a flat connection fee but instead the amount of data used. Since mobile VoIP is specifically designed to use microscopic amounts even international calls will cost just a few pence, not a few pounds. In addition, once connected a user isn’t charged at all until they make or receive a call.

Initial plans for the service are to expand support across Europe and the US over the next 12 months with a global roll-out to follow.

Interestingly, the Truphone deal isn’t an exclusive one so I’d expect to see similar agreements from rivals sooner rather than later. For now though, this is a major market differentiator and one which could finally turn the masses onto the benefits of mobile VoIP…

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