My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: @WhatsApp VoIP Calling in Second Quarter of 2014 - WhatsApp kills International Calling at the Advent of Facetime-eqsue Premium Video VoIP Calling on smartphones

Saturday, March 15, 2014

@WhatsApp VoIP Calling in Second Quarter of 2014 - WhatsApp kills International Calling at the Advent of Facetime-eqsue Premium Video VoIP Calling on smartphones

“We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably. We're going to introduce voice on WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year”

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum commenting on VoIP Plans at a speech at Mobile World Congress 2014

Looks like Telecom Provider LIME, Telecom Provider Digicel and Triple Play Provider FLOW now have a common problem coming on their hands and they are very silent: the coming of VoIP Calling from the uber-popular WhatsApp by the Second Quarter of 2014 as stated in “WhatsApp poses threat to local mobile providers”, published Friday, March 07, 2014  BY STEVEN JACKSON, The Jamaica Observer.

Moving from doing Voice Notes to straight VoIP is a big step, effectively making WhatsApp a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), utilizing either Wi-Fi or conventional 3G/4G Data Networks now being deployed in many Telecom Markets.

It was inevitable, as Mobile Social Networks are on the rise, even here in the Caribbean with the launch of F1rst Media as noted in my blog article entitled “F1rst Media launches Mobile Social Network on Saturday February 1st 2014 - Full Participation of Caribbean Islands and Liberalized E-Commerce needed for long term Success”.

Already signs have popped up in the wild that WhatsApp has been testing this new feature as reported by Italian iPhoneitalia as noted in “WhatsApp calling spotted in the wild?”, March 14, 2014 11:50 AM PDT by Jennifer Van Grove, CNET News.

It also heralds the death of Telecom Provider Options such as Roaming, which Telecom Provider Digicel has phased out as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel to eliminate Roaming Charges by Tuesday October 2013 - Minister Paulwell Negotiates with LIME for US Calls free of Roaming, proving Everything is Possible”. 

But more intriguingly, the coming of Premium Video Calling as originally predicted in my blog article entitled “Chatroulette, FaceTime and Smartphone Video Calling - The Thomas Crown Affair”.

International Travellers will love WhatsApp – Jamaicans now see a reason to invest in a smartphone

With WhatsApp, International Travellers will not have to Roam, purchase a SIM Card to keep in contact with home or even carry a femtocell as explained in my blog article entitled When in Roam (ing) carry a attocell - SnapDragon and The Tourist; they can just WhatsApp via their Hotel’s Wi-Fi!

Only for Local VoIP Calling using 3G or 4G LTE (Bahamas yu large!) would you need to have a SIM Card from a Local Telecom Provider in order to make regular GSM Voice or VoIP Calls via WhatsApp!

Jamaicans Telecom Providers benefit too, as the current rapid adoption of smartphones mean that smartphone purchases will be on the rise along with Data Plans since Christmas 2013 as evidence by Telecom Provider Digicel own Statistics as predicted in my blog article entitled “Digicel reports increases in Data Services, DL600 and DL700 sales in 2013 - LIME's all about the Benjamins from 4G LTE making Digicel Captain America The Winter Soldier”.

Here’s the original article in Italian as reported in “WhatsApp: ecco come saranno le chiamate VoIP! – Anteprima”, published 14 March 2014, by Andrea Cervone, iPhoneitalia for those who are natural speakers and readers of this beautiful language along with a screenshot possibly taken from an Apple iPhone!

WhatsApp against the World –Skype and BBM’s VoIP Territory Invasion heralds the death of International Calling

This also puts then in direct competition with such VoIP Services as Skype and BBM, which is also rapidly spreading across multiple smartphone Platforms as noted in my blog article entitled “BBM 2.0 now with Voice and Dropbox Integration – WhatsApp beaten for sure as Free File Sharing and Voice Calling result in BBM Transcendence on Android and iOS

This is an excellent case of “Dog a sweat but lang’ hair hid’ it”, as since the Facebook purchase of WhatsApp as reported in my blog article entitled “Facebook acquires WhatsApp for US$19 Billion - CEO Jan Koum Revelry will fade once faced with BBM and Google+, Guardians of the Galaxy of Mobile Social Networks” Facebook has been drumming up the value of their US$19 billion splash on this rapidly growing Instant Messaging Platform.

So the idea of VoIP Calling should really concern them. 

WhatsApp’s rapid growth and its ability to interconnect all types of phones, makes it easy for Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones and eventually Windows Phone and Blackberry phones to talk to each other as stated in “WhatsApp to go big on voice communications in 2nd quarter”, published February 24, 2014 3:50 AM PST by Stephen Shankland, CNET News.

Albeit a boost to smartphone purchases and Data Plans, when the dust settles, this’ll mean the death of International calling Plans as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid” , both in Developed World Countries as well as in Developing World Countries like Jamaica.

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum Master Plan – Premium VoIP Video Calling for a Price to generate Revenue

Guess WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum was right; they don’t need to make money from Advertising.

They can make money via charging for premium Video VoIP Calling Services much in the same way Skype, now deeply integrated into Microsoft and Facebook already makes revenue as noted in my blog article entitled “Skype's Ads on Free VoIP heralds coming of Free Mobile VoIP - Video Calls not problem as LIME LTE soon tun up”.

So serious is Microsoft about Skype that that they’ve replaced Messenger with Skype since January 2013 as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Microsoft replacing Messenger with Skype by First Quarter of 2013AD - A Solid Pitch Perfect (2012) Tablet and Smartphone Ecosystem for the Corporate Road Warriors”.

More recently, at their Lync Conference, Microsoft announced the coming ability of the more business Centric Lync being able to Video Call Skype Customers along with Google Android integration for Lync as noted in “Microsoft makes Skype and Lync more compatible, adds Lync for Android tablets”, published Feb 18, 2014 9:00 AM by Mark Hachman, PCWorld and “Lync and Skype together - here's how it will work”, published February 24, 2014 -- 13:00 GMT (05:00 PST) By Simon Bisson, ZDNet.

So a clear pathway has been set for WhatsApp come the Second Quarter of 2014. Their plan basically involves free VoIP for the US$1 per year subscribers, with Premium VoIP Video Calling being the paid option competitively packaged.

This to compete with not only the Free yet unreliable options of BBM, Viber and Skype but also the paid options of the Telecom Providers using their own 3G/4G Networks. Apple Facetime, competition is coming as I’d expected would eventually happen in my blog article entitled “Apple and FaceTime - BladeRunner and Beyonce and Lady Gaga's Video Phone”.

Thus Telecom Providers trying to block WhatsApp would only be delaying the inevitable usage of High Bandwidth Wireless Broadband’s most obvious usage; Premium Video VoIP Calling, the next big moneymaker that Telecom Providers should have been investing in. Stay tuned to my blog as the sparks are set to fly!

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