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Splora Announces Free Phone Calls for Beta Testing Launch of WebRTC-based App

June 04, 2015

One of the promises or threats, depending on one’s perspective, of WebRTC has been the viability of a WebRTC cloud-based solution (aka an app) to become a replacement for enterprise communications systems solutions.  The idea is that if you can call from a browser, why not make all calls from a browser through the cloud assuming the offer is enterprise-grade?  Well news from Melbourne, Australia is that a startup company, Splora has it eyes on doing just that.

With an official launch date set for July 1, 2015, Splora is inviting 30,000 individuals to test its new app for quality assurance. During the beta period, testers will be able to download the app for free and can call anywhere in the world at no cost for the month of June on their mobile phones.

Splora, which will launch as an enterprise-grade communications hub, is leveraging the potential of WebRTC offering HD quality voice and video. Like Skype and other apps, it will offer free calls from app to app along with the option of a paid account for unlimited calls to any phone (fixed or mobile) in the world. The company is touting not only the apps’ utility as a PBX solution, but also says that IoT capabilities will be seamlessly added to the Splora control panel in the near future.

Creator of the app, Terry Crews says, "I developed Splora as I could see no good reason why we were continually being charged exorbitant prices for phone calls, especially whilst travelling. The $6000 phone bill from my daughter on a recent overseas holiday was the straw that broke the camel's back! After testing products like Skype and Viber, I was less than impressed with the call quality and features. I set out to develop a Skype type product with excellent call and video quality but with features that have never been created before. I guess you could say that Splora is like Skype on steroids."

Image via Shutterstock

Splora has been developed using WebRTC, and has worldwide coverage through its operation on the Amazon AWS network. Crews explained that:  "Our biggest challenge was building a global network. I am really excited that we have been able to remove all the expensive components and create the world's first cloud based telephone system. It automatically grows to meet demand! For too long telephone companies have duped consumers, this technology bypasses them. The global network has been built and now needs to be stress tested. What better way than 30,000 real people, making real phone calls all around the world -- for free! This is a revolution in communications and could change the way we connect forever."

All launches of new capabilities are the subject of more than a tad of hyperbole. This one is no exception. As we all know, free multimedia interactions between app users come with charges for what in telecom terms are “off-net” calls, and have been around for years.  In fact, it is also not a revelation that making such sessions enterprise-class and potentially premises-based PBX alternatives as the world goes all-IP is what is driving the growth of cloud-based VoIP and unified communications (UC) capabilities. It is also why Microsoft has rebranded Lync, and why on the mobile side of things Google is looking at achieving success with its greatly reduced global roaming charges offer. 

What is of interest is the use of AWS to get network coverage.  If nothing else, as a path for a host of companies to give entrepreneurs and others a vehicle to compete in the enterprise real-time communications market, the AWS network is certainly inviting.  How much room there is in the market for competitors is obviously a chapter to be written. As these types of service launches show, WebRTC is certainly going to make this interesting.  If nothing else you might wish to take Splora out for a test drive during the beta test. After all, you have to like the price.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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