Tesco has launched its new mobile VoIP service today under the name of Tesco Talkwi-fi. Of course, the concept is nothing new to the tech savvy, especially with the likes of Skype and Vyke already on the scene and as it goes it’s not that much of a stretch for the supermarket giant’s customers who will already be familiar with the their standard VoIP service in the shape of the Tesco Internet Phone.
The service works as a downloadable S60 app and, at the moment, will run on the Nokia Wi-Fi handsets N81, E65, E51 and the ever-popular N95, although more compatibles are promised by the end of the year.
When in a Wi-Fi area, in the comfort of your own home, the discomfort of your own work or some Starbucks hot-spot, you can use the app to make VoIP calls on your mobile for free to other Tesco Talkwi-fi users and for not very much to others.
On the PAYG package, it works out as 10p/min to mobiles and 2p/min to landlines in the UK and those in any of the Tesco top 30 international destinations as well, which presumably include useful countries rather than the likes Equatorial Guinea – no offence intended to our Equatorial Guinnean readers.
If you go with the Off Peak price plan, it’ll work out as £1.95/month at the same rates as above only with non-mobile evening and weekend calls for free. For £2.95/month you can go UK Anytime meaning that it’s just mobile calls you still pay for and if you choose Anytime Worldwide, it’s £5.95 and the international calls are covered as well.
Whichever you chose, the calls are only good for the first 70 minutes, after which you’ll have to redial. Slightly annoying but probably less annoying than being stuck on the phone for 70 minutes in the first place.
It’s not quite the cheapest VoIP service out there but it does look fairly simple to set up and use which is the main problem if you’re Tesco. If they can get their current Internet Telephone customers to convert – which they probably can – then there’s one whacking great market share for the business behemoth to swipe up in one swoop even before it’s had to compete with the other services.
I’m having a go with Tesco Talkwi-fi for a trial run, as I am with Vyke and Skype phones too. Expect a full report on your desk in a couple of weeks