MyNetFone has entered the hotly contested mobile “over the top” marketplace with free Android and iOS apps enabling its customers to make low-cost calls using their mobile handsets.
The over the top (OTT) market includes popular apps such as Viber, Skype and Facebook’s calling app, which allow low cost or free calling over a mobile handset’s data connection.
The MyNetFone offering, aimed at people with existing MyNetFone residential plans, allows users to re-route landline VoIP calls to their handsets, free of charge.
Calls can also be placed from the apps, which incur standard MyNetFone call charges.
A spokesman for MyNetFone could not be reached for comment.
Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda said it was unclear whether Australian VoIP providers would be able to grow their businesses by releasing OTT apps.
“At present, we haven’t seen a lot of action in this market in Australia,” Gedda told iTnews.
Gedda said that mobile operators, and virtual mobile operators, are increasingly competing at the low end of the voice market to offer extremely competitive mobile call costs within Australia and overseas.
“In a sense, [OTT players are] also competing in terms of practicality and usability,” Gedda said.
“The real problem these OTT apps face is the quality of service available using 3G or even 2G.
"This means with low cost conventional calling, users won’t necessarily take the extra step of firing up an app to make the call, particularly when the call quality can’t be guaranteed."
MyNetFone has been on a tear in the last few months, with the recent purchases of Connexus and part of GoTalk’s assets, as well as the $3 million investment in interconnection with all 66 of Telstra’s Call Connection Areas.