Friday, February 24, 2006

Shall I jajah you?

234x60_04_1A friend just told me about Jajah. These guys have found an extremely elegant way to drive VoIP services into the mainstream and to challenge established business models like for example GSM roaming.

It's been a while since I last did serious research on the telecoms market and I have only recently restarted looking into what is going on. In my opinion Jajah is an extremely powerful proposition. They have solved the equation of offering inexpensive telephony using Internet technologies without ever having to deploy infrastructure at customer locations. Furthermore, the customer just uses a regular phone to speak although they have to use the web site to establish the communication.

Jajah is extremely significant and important. It may well impact the telco business far more than Skype and it definitely is a quantum leap in the advent of the Internet era in traditional telephony services. Here's why I think Jajah may be the biggest disruption yet in the telco market:

  1. no infrastructure deployment, no need to change anything at customer locations.

  2. sustainable cost advantage that is going to be particularly relevant for users of IP / WiFi enabled mobile phones.

  3. the business of GSM roaming will suffer and we know it is the cow that GSM operators are living on.

  4. traditional telco operators are being pressured for local telephony by companies offering combined ISP / telco services for a flat fee and they are now also going to face even more pressure on long distance calls than Skype was already inducing

  5. Jajah is deceptively simple for most users. They have been able to shape a service that fully reuses existing consumer education about how to place a phone call. This is essential and I had already mentioned why I thought Skype was great one year ago: their interface was a perfect replica of a traditional phone and that was major help for users. Jajah manages to beat Skype on that count. The proverbial grand mother can use Jajah!

Here's how it works:

  1. go to jajah's site

  2. enter your phone number and your correspondent's phone number

  3. jajah establishes a connection with you (your phone rings) and your correspondent (their phone rings) and presto you are in contact at a cost that is super low (barely more expensive than Skype)

Of course, if you want to have low cost telephony, you will have to accept increased risk of eavesdropping, but then again no system is secure as shown by the recently uncovered tapping of GSM cell-phones of prominent government officials in Greece. So, I would not bother much about the issue and still choose what to discuss on the phone and what to keep for more secure channels.

1 comment:

  1. i always have been particularly proud to be something like the 10,000's skype user (which allowed me to register a couple of rare names :)
    but this... is WAY beyond.
    thank you alex, i already am an addicted. unfortunately the registering mechanism is experiencing errors right now.
    definitely THE winner of 2006.
    way to go.