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September 26, 2006

Jajah Mobile Announcement

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Jajah announced a new service called Jajah Mobile. The original version of Jajah enabled people to make a VOIP call from any phone to any phone without a download, installation, new phone number, or allowing your computer to be used in P2P network. All you had to do is initiate the call with a computer by going to the Jajah web site; after that, you could turn the computer off or jump in your car and go.

Jajah Mobile takes this a step further. With cell phones, you don’t even need a computer to initiate the call. Calls are generally free between registered users and $.025 per minute for others—see pricing details here. This is a FAQ to provide more information.

  • How does Jajah Mobile work?

    The principal mechanism for making a call with Jajah Mobile is the same as Jajah on the web. When you initiate a Jajah call Jajah looks at your number and the number you wish to call, and we work out how to call you from the closest point. This makes the call to both parties a local call which is the cheapest rate call you can make from your mobile phone. Jajah then connects between those two points using the cheapest possible method—this is a VoIP connection.

    However the big difference between Jajah Mobile and the Jajah you use on the web is that with Jajah Mobile you don’t need a computer to initiate the call. Jajah Mobile is a small application that runs on your phone.

  • How can you establish a call without Internet connection?

    Jajah does it by emulating our Web service onto a mobile device. The Jajah Mobile Suite effectively triggers a Jajah call.

  • What about roaming?

    Jajah works as soon as you can receive a call. If your normal provider charges roaming fees, these fees will also apply. Jajah has no control of your carrier’s pricing and roaming policy.

  • Now that you have a solution for mobile phones to make calls without an Internet connection, why do I have to use my computer to establish a regular Jajah call?

  • You don’t have to, but some of Jajah’s additional services can only be accessed on our website. For example, conference calls, scheduled calls, and text messaging. Some of these services are currently being adapted to work in the Jajah Mobile Suite as well.

  • Are there any restrictions as to what numbers I can call?

    No, call any number in the world—including emergency numbers. One of the big topics amongst “traditional VoIP” providers is trying to get their services to work with the emergency system in each country. Jajah uses the existing infrastructure. If you need to make an emergency call Jajah won’t get in your way.

  • What are the technical requirements to use Jajah Mobile Suite?

    The first release supports Java based (J2ME) and SymbianTM S60 version 7.x or 8.x phones. This covers a variety of Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola phones. Click here to check out your model and get the software.

I don’t think it can get much easier to make a free/cheap international call from your cell phone.

Disclosure: I recently accepted an advisory position with Jajah.

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Comments

I want to call india how do i call?

Thanks for sharing these jajah stuff with us. Jajah looks quite neat.I think it a good option for every one. now nokia n95 is best option

Theare is new srvice that will soon come up with a great mobile solution for thae moment they have greay rates and clear quality....and a great x-mas ad!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4knRju9PTw



I also recommend people try myBlueZebra.com

It's quick, easy and great rates to lots of countries throughout the world!

I tried getting Jajah Mobile onto my phone, but of course it wasnt't able to send an SMS message because the phone model is unsupported. Why not give users the ability to just send a plain old SMS with the number they want to call?
When I am next to an internet connection, I will use Skype/Gtalk anyway, cause they are cheaper/free. I will only use Jajah on my mobile when I am on the go - but why is it so hard to do? A paradox.

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I too have been completely unimpressed with the call quality. Jajah mobile unusable for me (calling from Israel to France and UK).

I'll hang on to my Jajah credit until they've bought some better bandwidth, but for the moment Skype & mobile carrier roaming rip-off wins.

Guy's manifesto was right "don't worry be crappy!". Now get to work on the call quality before the next new big thing comes along and takes my attention.

I tested jajah and I agree there rates are not very good. I did tested and I have been a client of Actica and there service is good there rates as well, so I do recomend them. They give you a free softphne with Video capabilities, or you can also have what they call an ATA or a voip phone from them.
There ActicaOne product is great, free calls for net to net calls and very good rates worldwide as there quality is been overall superb.

Robert.

It surely can get easier!!! Have you seen the Java application Globe Dialer? Unlike Jajah and Rebtel which rely on call back (which makes 2 calls and cost the company 2 calls) - Globe Dialer makes one seemless call without the call back issue. The software is downloaded from the website www.globedialer.com for free and could not be easier - even my grandma could do it!

don't compare apples and oranges. the biggest difference between Jajah and Skype is that I can teach my grandma how to use Jajah easily. I can teach her how to use Skype as well, but it's a little more complicated. all i need for Jajah is two phone numbers, my own and the receiving party's, and know how to use a web browser. there is no need to install a program, own a headset or own a special Skype phone. that's the biggest appeal to me. at my office, i don't like to install any programs not related to work, so i use Jajah when i have to make a few personal international calls. i can't do that with Skype.

having said all that, i'm disappointed as a paying customer with Jajah because it fails to deliver with one of the fundamental requirements for this kind of service -- audio quality. all my calls have quite a bit of static so i use Jajah mostly for short calls, e.g. to wish someone a quick happy birthday or have a short inquiry to make. if i want to *chat* with my long distance friends, i still use Skype from home. and if this doesn't improve quickly, once my balance on Jajah is close to zero, i might resort to a calling card even though the rates are higher. that's how bad the audio quality is. i do hope it improves because i really think Jajah is on to something, but a good idea alone is not enough, it needs better execution/implementation.

Sorry Guy - bad introduction to Jajah. It thinks UK landline numbers are mobiles, therefore you can't use the trial. Then when I tried to register, the box to enter the code in the image overlays the image if you are using Firefox.

Hopefully things will get better - if it hadn't been you telling me how good it was, it wouldn;t be on my list any more.

"Disclosure: I recently accepted an advisory position with Jajah"

I suspected as much... you needn't disclose the obvious :-) At least you should check into the quality of the products/services that you endorse...

I have tried Jajah but I am far from being satisfied. Here's the reasons:

- the free calls are limited to those users logging in and using the service in the latest 2 weeks. If they fail to do so, you are going to pay for the call;

- the rates are not that competitive either: Skype is by far cheaper and it's available not only as an application, but on Pocket PCs and now also embedded in devices. Skype users always talk free.

- If you are not a frequent flier (in this case you could just roam a dedicated phone number to your PC using VOIP) local telecom companies usually have very competitive rates (up to 50% cheaper than JAjah) without the burden o having to go online to place a call.

It could have been a great service but the poor planning, rates and "el-cheapo" attitude make it a short-lived company.

Sorry to report this. But here is my one statistically unimportant but important to me experience. And, unfortunately, it was a really bad Jajah call and technical support experience . I did give Jajah some heads up but got no response from the tech team of my problem (see my post).

I wished I had a great experience to share here but it is not meant to be. So sad.

Kempton

I've had a bad experience with Jajah. Signed up for a business account, then received an e-mail requesting a copy of the corporate utility bill (sic). I replied that we rent an office for an all-in price and that I would be happy to supply any other official paper instead. Never received a reply.

My first advice to Jajah would be: if you want to turn potential fans into real fans, politeness will get you further.

a comment pointed to some entries on the Ars Techinica site around issue of telcos not standing still. Also discussed a new nokia phone with seamless gsm to wifi handover. some of the comments were quite good. i think jajah, vonage, even skype (the only one to monetize) are all transition systems which get the telcos to move in one way or another. The notion that someone is going to set up a system which allows anyone to make FREE calls to anyone on any mobile operators network is ludicrous. its 1990's napster thinking. besides the handset & radio debates, one should also monitor the discussions around IMS architecture implementation within mobile operators - much is hype but a really important debate is over the role of the USIM - the little chip that up to now has provided the authentification for you to get access to the your operator's GSM/GPRS network. Unlike the handset, the operator owns this piece and is typically "locked" to the handset. They are (operator) and will continue to be the gatekeeper to their networks. An applet in the SIM could easily render an application at the phone OS layer (like jahjah) useless. we all want free but i think some of the current convergence disscussions border on the absurd.

interesting but when i checked out the rate calculator for calls originating from UK landlines & mobile operators the rates qouted were really not worth the trouble.

a more interesting development that we should all watch is the move (over here) twoards the availability of femtocells - low power/low cost gsm/gprs rcvr/xmtrs which will snap onto your home or office IP network - will allow you to make calls with your standard gsm phone - no addl sw needed! this is usable convergence - jahjah reminds me of an updated version of long distance callback services, back when international long distance was still expensive.

Is it only me but I could not check the mobile phones (drop down menus do not work). Plus a few links from the FAQ sections end up in 404 errors. Not a good sign.

Dear Galvin Klein,
I agree with Nicola: will it work in the long term, when telco will try to fight this kind of competition?
Ars Technica is worried about the same issue.

The Mobile solution is great, but needs a broader phone support. Nevertheless, is the first time I seriously think to use a VoIP-like service.

Gk, are you planning to invest in this company? If not, how are you compensate for being the advisory for this company and how many hours do you have to put in for this company. I haven't see much hype about Jajah. Is this company profitable?

You know as the mantra goes "What is gold... Guy touches."


Oh Gk, just ignore "Gerald." He's just too much of a fan of you. That's how people act when they like you too much.

***************

Creative One,

Just send me an email (guy@garage.com, and I will tell you more. Thanks for the "translation" of Gerald's comments. :-)

Guy

Sounds like a good service to me.
I sure at the service progesses it will become easy to use, and will become a tool of value.

Big fan of this blog..till now. This reads like pasted company material. FAQ on a posting?! this is a first. I assume that if you haven't taken the time to actually write about it, this means the posting is more like a favor to the company than an actual interest on your part.

If you want trust from your readers, the product has to stand on its own merits, not personal interests. This is the latest example of a recent trend that shows bloggers writing increasingly more about companies they have some kind of commercial interest with. I hate to sound negative but this kind of posting goes against the very concept of a blog as a personal mean of expression.

**************

Gerald,

It is a copy and paste (plus my editing) of some of the company's FAQ. I am an advisor to the company. I do like the product--I wouldn't blog about it if I didn't, and no one can "buy" me and get me to write about crap.

Endorsement of this product is part of my personal expression. I am an evangelist. I evangelize. That's what I do.

This blog will always contain plugs for stuff that I like. Sometimes I will have an "alignment of interest." Sometimes I won't. My economic interest is not the test. Whether I like it is the fundamental test.

If you can't deal with this, don't read the blog because I promise I will continue to disappoint you.

Guy

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