Fellow blogger Alec is right. I don't "get" JAJAH Mobile. As I have posted, I have trouble envisioning a compelling need for this service.
Obviously, JAJAH execs would beg to differ. They do feel their service is important.
The other day, JAJAH Mobile's Sean O'Mahony and I had a conversation in which he sought to explain why JAJAH does matter. He followed up our chat with a written summation that he feels will state his case.
I reproduce his note to me with his permission, and with the goal that now that you have read my views as well as JAJAH's you will have that much more information to decide for yourself if this is a service and a company that interests you.
Take it away, Sean:
At its very basic level JAJAH -- in all its various forms -- marries the best of the existing telephony infrastructure with the cost savings of IP telephony.Of course with the advent and commercialization of IP telephony new services such as Gizmo, Skype and Vonage have allowed people to make free or cheap calls. However, each one of these solutions requires a change of behavior. With Gizmo and Skype, et. al. the user needs broadband access to the internet, needs to download new software, needs to see the user is also online at the same time. With Vonage et. al. the user needs needs broadband access and a new phone number.Our underlying premise is this: On the whole, people like their existing phones, they like their phone plans, they don't want to download software or sign any new contracts. They don't want to change their behavior. What they do want is the ability to make calls for free, or at significantly lower cost.
JAJAH takes VoIP to a new level. On the web. Only the initiator needs to be online, and more importantly doesn't need broadband, a new number or special software. The recipient of the call doesn't need to be on, or near a computer. A registered user can call anyone in the world. The user enters the number of the person they wish to call and simply clicks the call button. JAJAH connects the two parties and a phone call is established.Most significantly, with JAJAH Mobile neither party needs to be near a computer to make an international, or long distance call, for free.
The JAJAH user simply dials an international number from their cell phone, press the call button as they usually would then JAJAH takes over and connects the call over the JAJAH network and the call is connected. The main difference is that the call is free, or at very low cost. This is the first time that free international calling from a mobile phone has been made available. In more detail JAJAH Mobile has some built-in intelligence that allows it to leverage the users existing calling plan. For example, if you are a US customer on Cingular you probably have a voice plan with a bucket of minutes. It doesn't make sense for US calls to be JAJAH calls so by default JAJAH Mobile takes no action when calls are made in the US. However, it does make sense for JAJAH to save our users money so if a customer is calling the UK (+44) JAJAH Mobile will take over the call and allow it to be free, or $0.025 per minute as opposed to the $1.50 a minute Cingular would charge for the same call.
For cell users who are on pay as you go plans JAJAH Mobile is equally compelling. With most of these types of plans international calling is impossible. The user would make a call, as described above, and be able to connect internationally. Of course this will cost the user about $0.10 a minute for the local connect but that is still a significant saving. When coupled with the fact that any such user can make a call from their mobile phone to anyone in the world at anytime, we think it's a compelling solution. The title of your blog is actually very important. JAJAH Mobile is *not* a threat to cell phone companies. Our positioning is that we want to be everyone's second phone company. Their complimentary service. Our mantra is: Go ahead and use cell phone services because on the whole these are excellent services. Where the price of using these very convenient services becomes an obstacle then use JAJAH to make your calls. No change of behavior, just lower cost of calling.
OK, readers- who is correct? Me, JAJAH Mobile, or do we each have our valid points?