The Dutch cable operator follows a similar app introduced by Ziggo just a few days ago. The Ziggo app is called Bapp, the UPC version is called UPC Phone. Both apps offer the same functionalities, “it is as though you have your fixed telephone number with you everywhere you go, even when you are abroad.”
With the apps subscribers can be reached at all times and everywhere they go via WiFi and 3G/4G on the customer’s regular fixed telephone number with smartphone or tablet, even abroad.
The app switches automatically between WiFi and 3G/4G. Phone calls are made with the same, predictable rates as with the fixed line. If there is no free WiFi available, 3G / 4G data is still cheaper than call minutes from abroad.
The app allows users to call all fixed and mobile numbers; this is not possible with most VoIP apps. A tablet or iPod without a SIM card can also be used as a telephone.
Ziggo also claims that the use of the app is much safer than the use of many comparing products. “Bapp encrypts the signalling and the media and only allows connections with the Ziggo telephony gateway.”
“Ziggo customers want to be able to use our services at all times, wherever they go. Our introduction of Ziggo WiFi Spots laid the groundwork that made this possible. Our customers can now make use of the internet at over 1 million locations, simply and without extra costs’, said Ziggo’s VP of consumer products and innovation, Pieter Vervoort.
“It goes without saying that our clients also want to be accessible on their fixed number everywhere they go. By testing the Ziggo Bapp, we have taken a new step towards making this possible. With this app, not only can you call using your landline number, but you can also make inexpensive phone calls from abroad, and call using your tablet.”
Broadband TV Views. With these new apps the cabe operators have a powerful tool. OTT services such as Skype have been around for many years, but now consumers can use the app as a regular phone with access to any phone number on the planet – all at regular prices.
The apps work with any (free) Wi-Fi connection, so combined with the networks of free shared Hot Spots both UPC and Ziggo customers can access the service across the operator’s footprints. Now all that need to be done is make access to these Hot Spots reciprocal between UPC and Ziggo customers.
At first sight, the apps are beneficial to both the operator and the user. The cabler receives income from the calls made while the caller gets cheaper calls.
At the moment, both the apps run on a test basis and there is no guarantee that the service will continue.