Zer01 Defends Mobile VoIP Technology - InformationWeek

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8/14/2009
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Zer01 Defends Mobile VoIP Technology

The company denies that its promise of unlimited voice, texts, and data for $70 a month is vaporware.

Zer01 Mobile said it plans to go through with its plan to offer a mobile service that provides unlimited voice, text, and data services using mobile VoIP despite questions about the technology and the company's business partners.

The startup showed signs of being a disruptor because it promised to undercut carriers such as AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless by offering unlimited plans for about $70 a month without a long-term contract.

Zer01 said it could do this because it had developed proprietary algorithms and defragmentation engines that enabled it to have all of its voice traffic go over data networks it rents from carriers, even if it were over an EDGE or GPRS connection.

Some industry watchers have doubted the patent-pending technology since, so far, it has been difficult for mobile VoIP connections to deliver a consistent, high-quality of service over 3G networks, not to mention the slower EDGE ones.

Zer01 had also teamed with Buzzirk Mobile to market and distribute the devices, but more skepticism arose once the unsavory history of Buzzirk executives came to light, and after it made erroneous statements about the Zer01 technology. Zer01 said Thursday it has severed its relationship with Buzzirk for breach of contract, and sees it as "a healthy move ahead."

"We hope that our actions and statement put many concerns to rest," said Lance Dascotte, COO of Zer01 Mobile, in a statement. "We believe that statements made publicly about the nature of our relationship with certain entities and the legitimacy of our mobile products by certain third parties are erroneous and untrue and are based upon sufficient knowledge of the facts involved."

Zer01 has missed its summer launch date, and the company did not say when it expects to deliver retail services. Representatives told InformationWeek that Zer01 plans to show off its technology at various industry and consumer electronic tradeshows over the next few months.

The company is still committed to its plan of launching on Windows Mobile devices, but it said users will eventually be able to bring any GSM device on its network including Android, BlackBerry, and the iPhone.


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