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VoxOx Launches Something Borrowed, Something New

Sailboats in San Diego, California at 4 amImage via Wikipedia

Pal Bruce Bigelow of XConomy has a solid recap of VoxOx's VoxOx Call launch that happened yesterday.

VoxOx, which was funded by my neighbor-for the sake of transparency, is part of Telcentris, a San Diego based CLEC with a focus on international calling and are hoping to cut into that pie, the same way that Skype, GoogleVoice, Rebtel, client Truphone, Line2 and others all do or hope to. Taking a page from pretty much all of the afforementioned companies, VoxOx is basically playing man in the middle, doing some call rate arbitrage, and some call bridging to make calls free or low cost to the user with their new app that works on the iPhone. Like Skype and Truphone they also have a desktop app, but it's the mobile app that has some features the others don't, most notably, 20 party conference calling.

But this is where having been around a long time causes me to bring up the fact that what they are doing really mimics Parus Interactive's standard bearer, CommuniKate, which is the grand-daddy of all unified calling platforms made for the modern era, from the time it was called Webley. While Parus never rolled out their all IP platform, other services like Whistle from Vail Systems, are IP centric, as is GoogleVoice/Talk, as was the late lamented Gizmo. What VoxOx has done though is brought those Webley like services to an IP and Circuit Switched converged play and as Bigelow points out, basically bridges the call via an SMS triggered call back, which is something that Truphone and Rebtel both have done for years.

Overall I like the direction which VoxOx is going, but I just wish they had more "new" than simple "news."

Given San Diego's loss of Gizmo to Google, and the subsequent retirement of the service, I just have to root for the home team...



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