Zer01 Mobile announced a new service to be available April 1 promising truly unlimited voice and data on smart phones for $69.95/month, without a contract, on a network as broad as the one owned by AT&T.
Sound too good to be true? Well, here’s the plan — you tell us:
The company is using a form of roaming agreement to tunnel from AT&T’s network into their own IP backbone.
Zer01 eliminates traditional circuit-switched voice calling by sending calls through a proprietary Voice-over-IP (VoIP) application, which will run only on Windows Mobile 6 phones to start, but will be available for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Java and even on jailbroken iPhones later this year.
“No calls, period, go out over the GSM network,” Zer01 CEO Ben Piilani told PC Magazine.
The company’s VoIP application uses several brand-new, proprietary technologies, Piilani said. It ties into phones’ dialer apps to let users dial from the phone’s keypad without launching a separate voice-over-IP application. Pilani also claims the company’s proprietary QoS algorithms allow VoIP to run over slow EDGE and GPRS networks.
Zer01 is designed to work with unlocked phones that users bring in on their own, Piilani said, but they also plan to sell three HTC phones, the TyTnII (known on AT&T as the Tilt), the Touch Diamond and the Touch 3G. Zer01’s software needs to be optimized for each individual phone model, but the list of acceptable devices is continually growing, Piilani said.