Truphone

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Truphone Limited
Type Private
Industry Mobile communications
Founded 2006 in Kent, UK
Headquarters London, UK
Area served Australia,
Germany,
Hong Kong,
Poland,
Spain,
the Netherlands,
United Kingdom,
United States
Products Mobile telecommunications products and services,
Mobile and desktop software
Subsidiaries Truphone Ltd (in UK),
Software Cellular Network Ltd (North America) (in USA),
Startel Communications Co Pty Ltd (in Australia),
SCN Truphone, S.L. (in Spain),
Truphone (Hong Kong) Limited (in Hong Kong),
Tru Pte Ltd (in Singapore), Truphone (Poland) Sp. z o.o. (in Poland)
Website truphone.com

Truphone is a global mobile network that operates its service internationally. It has headquarters in London, and offices in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Philippines, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States.[1]

Truphone offers three main products:

  • Truphone, a SIM-based GSM mobile service which offers customers improved voice and data performance, as well as local rates (rather than roaming rates) in 66 countries. In eight (8) of these countries, an area the company calls the Truphone Zone users can purchase additional local mobile phone numbers, so their contacts in these countries are able to reach them with a local call.
  • Truphone Mobile Recording, which enables businesses to seamlessly record and securely store mobile communications.
  • The Truphone App, which allows free VoIP capabilities, in addition to other features, for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.

History[edit]

Truphone (a trading name of Truphone Ltd, formerly Software Cellular Network Ltd) was founded in 2006 by James Tagg, Alexander Straub and Alistair Campbell.[2]

The company's core business focus is Truphone (launched as Truphone Local Anywhere in January 2010[3]),. It is a GSM SIM-based mobile service which provides bundles of minutes, text and data to business customers for use in an area of 66 countries. Truphone calls this group of countries Truphone World.

Within this area is a group of countries the company calls the Truphone Zone. Here, the company has MVNO partnerships with local operators and offers customers additional local mobile phone numbers. This is so users’ contacts can always reach them with a local call, at a local rate.

Truphone was originally formed to develop downloadable mobile VoIP applications for smartphones, using the integrated Wi-Fi connection on the device.[4] These offered the ability to make free or low cost calls on the mobile device in areas where there is weak or no GSM coverage, and to send Instant Messages to other networks.

The first Truphone application released was for Nokia devices. This was followed by applications for Apple iPhone,[5] BlackBerry smartphones,[6] Apple iPod Touch,[7] Android devices and a softphone application for desktop was launched in late 2010.[8]

Truphone's SIM based products are entirely separate from the Apps. Truphone does, however, intend to combine the SIM and App accounts for customers in the future.[9]

Funding[edit]

Truphone's main funding comes from Vollin Holdings Limited, Minden, Somercourt Investments Ltd, Wellington Partners, Eden Ventures, Burda Capital, Independent News and Media, Straub Ventures, and a number of high-net-worth individuals.[10][11]

Timeline[edit]

2006
  • October: Truphone launches first VoIP application in beta[12]
2007
  • January: Raises £12.5 ($24.5) million in Series A funding[13]
  • March: "100 Europe" award from Red Herring magazine[14]
  • June: Releases new functionality allowing VoIP over 3G and SMS over IP
  • June: T-Mobile blocked all calls to Truphone numbers.
  • July: An injunction was issued by a UK court that forces T-Mobile to allow connection to Truphones's mobile numbers[15]
2008
  • April: Raised £16.5m ($32.7m) of Series B venture capital funding;[16] Acquired SIM4travel[17]
  • May: Version 4.0 released, incorporating Truphone Anywhere, an automated call-through and call-back application[18]
  • July: First VoIP application to be available through iTunes for the iPhone
  • October: Releases Truphone Anywhere application for BlackBerry handsets[19]
  • December: Releases application for iPod Touch allowing free iPod-to-iPod calling[20]
  • April: Truphone acquired SIM4travel, a provider of travel SIM cards, for cash and shares,[17] the first foray for Truphone into the GSM industry. Back-end technology from SIM4travel is now used in the Truphone SIM service.
2009
  • January: Releases application for Android platform;[21] Releases instant messaging capabilities[22]
2010
  • January: Truphone Local Anywhere (now Truphone SIM) launches;[23] Truphone and Vodafone enter MVNO partnership;[24] Truphone launched the first commercially available VoIP application for the Android[25]
  • April: Truphone launches on the iPad as the first VoIP application available[26]
  • June: Truphone announces agreements with Vodafone Netherlands and Orange in Spain[27]
  • December: Truphone expands its suite of applications to the desktop and laptop;[8] Truphone announces that local rates and numbers are now available in Australia[28]
2011
  • July: Truphone announces partnership with Obsidian Wireless[29] and demonstrates Truphone Mobile Recording solution[30]
  • August: Truphone appoints new CEO, Steve Robertson, formerly of BT Openreach
  • November: Truphone launches Truphone Mobile Recording, to help facilitate banks compliance with Financial Services Authority (now FCA) regulations on mobile call recording
2012
  • July: Truphone acquires its partner, Obsidian Wireless
  • August: Truphone opens US headquarters in Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, NC
2013
  • May: Announces technology partnership with Caterham F1 team
  • September: Truphone signs deal with BT Global services for the telecoms giant to resell its Truphone Mobile Recording product in the USA
  • November: Truphone launches new operations in Germany, Hong Kong and Poland - is featured on CNBC
  • October: Shortlisted for the ‘Best MVNO’ at the What Mobile Awards, and ‘Best business communications provider’ at the V3 awards.
  • December: Truphone opens new offices in New York, NY, and Houston, TX
2014
  • January: Shortlisted for the GSMA “Global Mobile Awards” best Enterprise Mobile Service and FSTech Awards 2014 “Online/Mobile provider of the year”
  • February: Won best MVNO at the Telecoms.com awards
  • March: Shortlisted Most Innovative Telecom Project, Telecom Asia Awards 2014
  • May: Truphone World’ plan is launched - an extension to the borderless communication zone, to include 66 countries, is featured in CNN, CNBC and Forbes Magazine
  • June: Won Best customer service in Asia Pacific at the Contact Centre World awards. Announces deal to be the official telecommunications supplier, and sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race, a round the world sailing event. Announces three year shirt sponsorship deal with Vitesse Arnhem, a football club from the Netherlands Eredivisie
  • July: Won Best customer service in Europe, Middle East and Africa at the Contact Centre World awards. Won International customer service Training Programme of the Year at the Customer Service Training Awards..

Products and services[edit]

Truphone SIM[edit]

The Truphone SIM is a standard GSM service with patented technology[31] which allows customers to have additional phone numbers for any or all of the countries where Truphone has MVNO partnerships with local operators. Currently this includes Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.[32]

The company has built a mobile network with core network technology distributed across four continents. Truphone uses these local points of presence (POPs) to reduce the distance that mobile traffic has to travel. This reduces latency, improves data speeds and call quality.

Truphone offers local rates for calls, texts and data through commercial arrangements with mobile network operators in 66 countries around the world.

The company focuses mainly on the business marketplace, and also has a pre-pay SIM which comes with 1 phone number, additional numbers can be purchased for an extra monthly fee (currently $8/month). Business plans include 2 phone numbers as standard.[33]

Geographical breakdown[edit]

  • Truphone Zone Countries where Truphone customers can purchase additional phone numbers, includes: the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain
  • Truphone World Countries where business users' bundles of minutes, texts and data can be used,includes: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vatican City
  • Everywhere else: Truphone network provides service with higher quality performance in over 220 countries.[34]

Truphone Mobile Recording[edit]

In addition to the roaming service, Truphone offers mobile call and SMS recording service to financial institutions in the UK and USA to comply with the mobile recording legislation from the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act.[35] The Truphone Mobile Recording service is delivered with its wholly owned subsidiary TruObsidian, an organisation created out of the acquisition of Obsidian Wireless by Truphone in 2012.

Features[edit]

  • Local rates in multiple countries
  • Bundles of voice minutes, texts and data used across the 66 countries in Truphone World
  • Multiple Local Numbers on one mobile / SIM for the eight Truphone Zone countries
  • Smart CLI
  • Works in over 200 countries (As per the GSMA)
  • Call and SMS recording (optional, UK and USA only)

Technology[edit]

Multi IMSI

The Truphone SIM allows more than one mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) to be added onto the SIM,[36] so a user can have a number for every country Truphone has an MVNO partnership with.

Smart CLI

The Smart Caller Line Identification (Smart CLI) technology ensures that the most appropriate number is displayed on the phone of the person the Truphone user is calling.[37]

Mobile recording

Truphone’s voice and SMS recording is integrated within the network infrastructure.[38] Recorded conversations can be stored in the cloud or within the financial institution's existing recording infrastructure. In September 2013, Truphone partnered with BT to market Truphone Mobile Recording service to help firms meet new financial market regulations in the US.

Partnerships and MVNO agreements[edit]

Truphone has MVNO agreements with operators in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. It has additional bi-lateral roaming agreements in place with a wide range of operators around the world .

Global mobile network infrastructure[edit]

Truphone owns and manages its own core mobile technology. The core is connected to global distributed major points of presence using a dedicated high speed internet connection (IP/VPLS). International mobile traffic is routed through the nearest point of presence, this reduction in physical distance reduces call interference and latency, and increases data throughput.

Truphone App[edit]

Truphone's VoIP application (known as Truphone App[39]), a separate product to the Tru SIM, allows users to make calls over the internet to landline and mobile phone contacts, and free calls to other Truphone App users.[40] Customers are also able to instant message contacts on other networks, such as Skype or Windows Live[41] on selected devices.

The Application also has additional user experience enhancements including, - ‘call cost indicator’ which advises the per minute cost before a call is placed - Signal strength checker - Photo led contacts book - Instant Messaging

The application is available as a free download and works on the following devices:

  • Mobile devices:[39]
    • Apple iPhone, iPod touch, iPad; however, user reviews on Apple's App Store report that the Tru App does not work correctly with iOS 5.
    • BlackBerry smartphones (calls via WI-FI for BB not supported)
    • Mobile phones with Android OS
    • Nokia smartphones
  • Desktops and laptops:[42]

The app is also in development for Windows Phone 8.[43]

Text messages can be sent from Tru app versions for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Nokia; as well as Apple Mac OS, Windows and Linux. Note as of the release of TruApp version 5 (in October/November 2012), text messaging functionality has been removed from the iOS app and TruApp for iPad has been removed from the Apple App Store altogether. Contact by a user with the company indicates text message functionality is hoped to be restored at a later date.

Tru App supports a range of calling methods: calls over wired or wireless internet on Windows, Mac and Linux. It supports calls over Wi-Fi, 3G and call-through, depending on the platform. Call-through is called Tru Anywhere, which uses the local minutes of the user to connect the call to a local Tru server.[44] The BlackBerry application from Tru uses this method of calling only.[45]

Truphone applications use the Session Initiation Protocol open standard,[46] which competes with other VoIP standards such as UMA and proprietary protocols such as the Skype protocol.

It has been suggested[47] that internet-based communications could be used without fear of interception. Truphone maintains, however, that it is governed by and complies with the same 'lawful intercept' laws as every other telecommunications company.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Truphone, Office locations
  2. ^ "Truphone brings internet-rate phone calls to ordinary mobiles at The Cloud’s hotspots". RealWire. 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  3. ^ Ray, Bill (21 January 2010). "Truphone launches Local Anywhere service". The Register. 
  4. ^ "Truphone Offers '4G' WiFi Internet Phone Solution". TMC. 2006-05-08. 
  5. ^ Sorrel, Charlie (2007-09-27). "Truphone Brings True VoIP to iPhone | Gadget Lab". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  6. ^ "Truphone brings VOIP app to Blackberry". Washingtonpost.com. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  7. ^ "Technology | Wireless turns iPod into a phone". BBC News. 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  8. ^ a b Motorola il iDEN (2010-12-07). "Truphone rebrands to TRU; Launches desktop application". Intomobile.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Truphone App and SIM Services to Work Together". TruTower.com. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  10. ^ "INTERNATIONAL MOBILE PHONE NETWORK COMPLETES PLANNED FUNDING ROUND, SECURING INVESTMENT OF £75 MILLION". Truphone. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  11. ^ "Truphone raises Ł16.5m ($32.7m) in Series B round". Realwire.com. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  12. ^ Judge, Peter (9 October 2006). "Truphone Mobile VoIP (beta)". Techworld. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  13. ^ "Mobile VoIP start-up Truphone secures European tech sector’s largest Series A funding of 2006". Realwire.com. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  14. ^ "Truphone lands Red Herring 100 Europe award". The Tru Blog. Truphone. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  15. ^ Ray, Bill (17 July 2007). "T-Mobile forced to connect Truphone numbers". The Register. 
  16. ^ "Truphone Raises Pounds Sterling 16.5m ($32.7m) in Series B Round". Marketwire.com. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  17. ^ a b Ray, Bill (11 April 2008). "Truphone picks up Sim4Travel". The Register. 
  18. ^ Ray, Bill (27 May 2008). "Truphone becomes a true phone". The Register. 
  19. ^ Dunn, John (30 October 2008). "Truphone puts VoIP on Blackberry minus Wi-Fi". Techworld. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  20. ^ "Truphone launches VOIP app for iPod touch". Pocket-lint. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  21. ^ Kim Poh Liaw (2006-10-05). "Truphone Anywhere launches for Android". SlashPhone. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  22. ^ "Comunicano : Truphone Adds Instant Messaging And Twitter To Its Iphone And Ipod Touch Applications". Comunicano.typepad.com. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  23. ^ Tom Keating (2010-01-20). "Truphone Local Anywhere - All Calls Now a Local Call". Blog.tmcnet.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  24. ^ Coventry, Sam (25 January 2010). "Vodafone, Truphone MVNO partnership announced". The Economy News (London). Archived from the original on 2010-01-28. 
  25. ^ "Truphone Launched First VoIP Client for Android on the Nexus One". Voip.about.com. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  26. ^ Alicia (2010-04-02). "Truphone Launch Apple iPad App". Gadgetvenue.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  27. ^ Motorola il iDEN (2010-06-18). "Truphone Local Anywhere hits Spain and the Netherlands". Intomobile.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  28. ^ Motorola il iDEN (2010-12-17). "Tru launches its local rate-local number service in Australia". Intomobile.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  29. ^ "Tru and Obsidian Wireless Partnership". Truphone. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  30. ^ "Tru and Obsidian Wireless". Truphone. 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  31. ^ "Comunicano : Travel". Comunicano.typepad.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  32. ^ "One year on, Truphone launches mobile roaming service for Aussie globetrotters. - UPDATED". Itwire.com. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  33. ^ "Borderless Bundles". Truphone. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. 
  34. ^ "About Truphone". Lastminute.com. 
  35. ^ "Taping of mobile phones - Feedback on CP10/7 and final rules". Fsa.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  36. ^ "Products". Truphone. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  37. ^ "Behind the Scenes". Truphone. Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. 
  38. ^ "Technical Information". Truphone. Archived from the original on 2011-11-03. 
  39. ^ a b "Mobile VoIP from Tru". Truphone. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  40. ^ "Why get Tru App?". Truphone. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  41. ^ Broida, Rick (2009-04-28). "Truphone 3.0 improves call quality, unifies IM | iPhone Atlas - CNET Reviews". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  42. ^ "Truphone Expands Suite of Applications to the Desktop and Laptop". Voip-phone-service.tmcnet.com. 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  43. ^ "Truphone App May Be Coming to Windows Phone 8". TruTower.com. 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  44. ^ "Tru Anywhere". Truphone. Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. 
  45. ^ "Truphone VoIP Now Available For Blackberry". Bright Hub. 27 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. 
  46. ^ Tom Keating (2006-09-12). "Truphone SIP client for mobile phones with free calling". Blog.tmcnet.com. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  47. ^ Jones, Joey (2008-02-27). "Exclusive: Cops 'Cannot Tap Net Calls'". Sky News. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 

External links[edit]