Chile's RedVoiss set to rival Skype

Chilean internet telephony provider RedVoiss has launched SippyPhone, a free service which it hopes will compete with Skype. The service consists of software installed on a PC; communication is possible by microphone or through a handset. Whereas Skype uses a proprietary protocol, SippyPhone uses standard initiation protocol (SIP).

As a result, RedVoiss CEO Alberto Mordojovich believes that SippyPhone will become more flexible as it can be interconnected with other IP voice services. He concedes that Skype may be slightly better as it uses greater broadband width, but: " the long run, SIP is going to be the dominant technology worldwide...Skype is going to have to compete against all the other companies similar to RedVoiss throughout the world that use SIP." 

Mr Mordojovich is keen to stress that his new free service is not a departure from the existing paid service: "This service is only for use with a computer. The other RedVoiss service is for integrating with telephone and remote telephone services. There is still an important market that prefers to use a telephone." Indeed, there is a monthly charge by RedVoiss for communication with public telephone services.

RedVoiss also banks on SippyPhone acting as an introduction to IP telephony, and in addition to making younger customers aware of telecommunications in general. It is intended to encourage companies to adopt the full RedVoiss service, or install servers to receive 800 numbers for free, when they currently cost companies a lot of money.

Matters are currently difficult for RedVoiss as it is involved in a court case which, in Mr Mordojovich's opinion, is shutting off US$1 billion in VoIP. Global operator Telefonica in the shape of Telefonica CTC Chile, is refusing to interconnect with RedVoiss. This is being blamed in part for is lower growth in 2005 than expected, 40%, or half of the prediction in January 2005.

"This lawsuit is going to set a precedent for the future use of broadband in Chile , and for potentially similar situations throughout Latin America ." Mr Mordojovich added that he does not expect the legal battle to be resolved before 2007.

* RedVoiss is presently expanding into Argentina and Peru , and is attempting to tap into Venezuela and Mexico .

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