VoIP services has been around for many years with major players like Skype and Viber leading the pack. The concept is relatively simple. VoIP service providers generally offer a cheaper calling rate compared to what your carrier is charging you for, and if the person you are making the call to is using the same VoIP service, you get to call for free.
I love using VoIP to make calls but the biggest challenge for me is getting my friends and family to sign up for the same VoIP service.
This month, a new VoIP service provider called nanu has entered the market with a different business model that could change the entire landscape of VoIP if they succeed. Instead of charging its customers by the minute for making calls to friends and family who are not using nanu, the VoIP service provider requires its customers to listen to a targeted advertisement in exchange for making a free 15-minute call.
It sounds like a perfect win-win situation for both service provider and customers. But will it succeed?
In Europe, Blyk offered its users free calls and text messaging for a few years. In the end, its U.K. business closed in 2009 while it switched to a paid rather than ad-supported business model in the Netherlands. That said, it could just be a case of having the right business at a wrong time.
The fact that nanu has the capability to work on 2G networks may well be one of the key reasons why nanu would succeed because this translates to an instant win in large developing countries like Indonesia and India.
The app is only on Android now (and this is the majority of the mobile market), but the team says that an iOS app will be coming in the next two to three months, with other platforms following.
If you are an Android user, give nanu a try and let me know your experience.
Christopher How is a digital marketing specialist helping organisations complement their business strategies with digital marketing techniques since 2006. Currently working in Philips Lighting as Senior Digital Marketing Manager (ASEAN Pacific), Christopher manages the end to end digital marketing from generating leads to converting them into contacts for the sales team. He is also involved in proposing and implementing digital marketing solutions that improve marketing efforts and processes for businesses.