T-Mobile's parent has JAJAH on its mind

Deutsche Telekom (known in the U.S. for its T-Mobile subsidiary) will announce  today that it is participating in a $20 million funding round for Internet phone service Jajah.

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Deutsche Telekom (known in the U.S. for its T-Mobile subsidiary) will announce  today that it is participating in a $20 million funding round for Internet phone service Jajah.

The investment in Mountain View, Cal.- based JAJAH could well be a tacit admission by Deutsche Telecom that it needs an ally in its arsenal along with cellular service, to capture those landline users who are dropping their land lines in favor of cell or Internet-based phone calling.

As Forbes' Dan Frommer points out, this investment is both strategic and non-cannibalistic.

"Jajah is relatively friendly to telcos, because it doesn't replace conventional phone service altogether," he points out. "Jajah uses the Internet to route cheap or free long-distance calls, but it connects the call using phone lines or cellphones, meaning its users must keep their telephone service or use wireless minutes."

Dan suggests that for its investment, Deutsche Telekom could be in an advantageous position to use JAJAH as a type of testbed for revenue drivers such as pre-call advertising. And Jajah's new investor gives it and imprimateur of well-connected (corporately, that is) against rivals such as Rebtel, Hullo and MobiVox.