Israeli startup Fring is pushing the envelope on Mobile VoIP with an application that is knocking the socks off the competition on Series-60.
I’ve been using Fring for about a week and a half and I can say: I’m impressed. The integrated presence features (allowing you to see which of your Skype or Google Talk buddies are online) combined with IM are enough to sell me. I would say the interface and integration into the phone platform are better than Google Talk on the Blackberry.
Fring has about 20 employees and the technology has been in development for two years. They are wisely adopting a viral approach to distributing this software. Right now it’s available by invitation only.
One question remains: can Fring do something about the talk quality and delay? One of the differentiators of VoIP services like Skype on the PC (when they work) is great voice quality. Can Mobile VoIP bring this kind of high quality voice to the mobile phone experience? Right now, latency is the key issue for the service. Fring say they are currently in the process of moving some servers to the UK which they claim will bring the Fring service in line with PC based VoIP standards.
Also, Skype and Google are both immanently rolling their products out onto smart-phone platforms as well (Skype is already available on Windows Mobile and has been for some time). If Fring continues to add more services (such as Yahoo! messenger and MSN) then it could easily differentiate itself.