Vancouver-based teliPhone Navigata-Westel (TNW) Communications announced a $10 per month mobile technology called Internet Personal Communication System (iPCS), which uses only the Internet to make calls or send SMS, essentially transferring the last remnants of the old mobile infrastructure (calls and texts) to something IP-based.
The iPCS service, which is based on a patent-pending "Smartphone-over-IP" (SoIP) technology, has wide coverage in Canada and the U.S. through its partner networks. The service costs only $10 per month, which gets customers unlimited SMS texts and 100 MB of data that can be used for calls, MMS, or any other data-based activity over the Internet.
The only downside is that with 100 MB, you can't do much these days. That's why the service also includes free Wi-Fi connectivity. According to the company, it's also the only service that offers free Wi-Fi without having to use a special device or mobile provider (likely referring to Google's Project Fi, which requires a Nexus 6 to connect seamlessly over Wi-Fi).
The company also said that it provides unlimited calls and MMS over Wi-Fi as long as they are sent over the continental U.S. and Canada. Those that terminate outside of these areas will incur additional charges.
TNW Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Panesar, stated, “TNW is ready to launch this revolutionary service that leverages our comprehensive voice, data and data centre network in North America. The existing high-quality capacity will allow us to provide excellent service to mobile users at much more affordable rates while still being a profitable product for our company."
All of the user's information, including contacts, texts, call logs and voicemails can only be accessed through a secure connection to TNW's servers, where they reside. The users have to log in with their accounts on the phones to access that data, and as soon as they log out, the information can't be accessed anymore.
Users can also have multiple accounts on the same smartphones. The SIMs are not tied to a single customer, but all of those users would still need to pay for their own account and service. Users can insert the teliPhone SIM into any unlocked Android device or iPhone to access the teliPhone mobile network.
teliPhone Mobile customers can choose a phone number from any city in North America or from the list of available countries. If the customers are willing to pay for multiple accounts, then they can have different phone numbers from different cities or countries that they could use themselves.
The iPCS service can also offer some compelling features for businesses that want a more intelligent call and data management for their employees. The businesses can allocate data and voice utilization per employee as well as by day and time of operation. Companies' employees can also use a "push-to-talk" feature used for "walkie-talkie"-like communication.
Because the iPCS service is "cloud-based," all future improvements will be available instantly to the users with no upgrades necessary.
The service is now in beta with a public launch in October. However, new subscribers can pre-register online on teliPhone's website. The company expects to deliver 1,000,000 SIM cards by mail in the U.S. and Canada, giving users a free month-long trial.