Optus moves into Skype territory with wi-fi calls

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Optus moves into Skype territory with wi-fi calls

Optus has unveiled an app for making wi-fi phone calls in a move it claims is a first by an Australian telco.

Unlike Skype or Facetime, calls made over Optus’ new Wifi Talk app are not free, with the same rates as Optus customers’ mobile plan.

However Optus is touting the ability of the app, which it foreshadowed in June, to use a customers’ existing Optus mobile phone number as an advantage over other wi-fi calling apps. Callers on the other end don’t need to use the Optus app.

Optus is pitching the app, which was jointly developed with Mitel, as a way to make calls in an area with limited phone reception. Users can call mobiles, landlines and overseas numbers and the app can also be used for text messages.

Wifi Talk is available for Optus pre-paid and post-paid customers with iPhone and Android phones with iOS 6 or Android 4.0 or above. It can use about 300Kb of data per minute, or 80kb per hour when idle.

Optus said it would be the “first of many exciting developments for Optus in the wi-fi calling space”.

Earlier this year Dodo announced it would be offering the Dodo Phone Anywhere app on iOS and Android for making free calls, messages, video calls and teleconferencing over a data connection. 

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