UNOS : SoIP technology

Heard of SoIP (services over IP) ?

UNOS voice is the answer.

Unfazed ? Here are my two cents.

The term SoIP is pretty new. In fact, I have never heard of it. Based on IBM white paper, it is fundamentally network-oriented. This means that it is rather middleware-oriented that application-oriented. This means that it is better because it has more room for expansion. If you are an investor, investing into technologies which have more space to stretch would be a better choice because it would prolong the product life time.

So, UNOS is leveraging on this. Which means that UNOS (even though it serves voice communication), it is built based on the architecture of SoIP. This is analogous to other popular software architecture such as SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).

The benefits of SoIP, as narrated by IBM white paper are:

  • An IP/MPLS-based core network strategy for revenue and cost optimization
  • Open standard technologies and platforms for cost efficiency, flexibility and interoperability Reusable, COTS solution components for lower infrastructure costs
  • A service creation environment to drive and support a large ecosystem of applications and thus revenue generation capabilities
  • A common, standards-based service delivery platform that can be easily integrated with existing and thirdparty assets for multimedia service delivery.
Now, this is very similar to the technology provided by green packet. Check out my previous entry, specifically on SONmetro. But both products target different markets.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is the same because both systems are IP based and hence can be classified under the bigger concept called IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). Check out my previous entry.

And what is even more interesting is that the bottom line benefits are the same:

  • Grow ARPU by increasing the adoption and use of mobile data/IMS services
  • Lower CapEx and OpEx by offloading the radio access network from mobile data/IMS services
  • Reduce churn by proving an enriched mobile data/IMS experience where subscribers spend most their time

Benefits for layman ...

To put in in layman terms discounting factual accuracy, the whole idea is about market capitalization on existing ever saturated market segment of the telecommunication industry.

IMS and SoIP talks about implementing IP (Internet Protocol) systems as sub-systems into the existing and proven and stable infrastructure of telecommunication systems as main-systems. So that value add services can be provided which would then bring henceforth lesser churn rates and more options for customers.

Still not good enough ?

The gis is that UNOS and SONmetro are both new comers who capitalize on existing situations by manipulating problems into business advenues. (Americans are specially good at doing this you know)

UNOS in terms of marketing ...

UNOS Voice brings users to unprecedented heights in mobile communications
Imagine this! A mere 61kB MIDlet can now transform existing handsets into sophisticated mobile devices with ‘Services Over IP’ (SOIP) capabilities.

KUALA LUMPUR, 5th April 2007 – FSBM Holdings Berhad (‘FSBM’) today announces UNOS Voice – the latest and first of its kind in fixed mobile converged solution for mobile users throughout the world. Available immediately for download at, this tiny 61 kiloByte (kB) mobile phone software (know as a MIDlet) has hit the markets in Malaysia , Singapore , Hong Kong , Australia and United Kingdom .

Being mobile infrastructure and operator neutral, UNOS Voice can be enjoyed by users irregardless the operator networks – be it GSM, PDC, CDMA2000, PHS, WCDMA or TDS-CDMA. All functionalities in UNOS Voice can be initiated via SMS, 3G, Edge, Wibro, Wimax, WiFi and WCMDA mobile accesses. FSBM is currently rolling out UNOS Voice to even more countries around the world including those across the Asia Pacific, Middle-East, Europe and US/ Canada regions.

Once installed on the mobile phone, UNOS Voice immediately allows the mobile phone user to enjoy communication and PBX (Private Business eXchange) functionalities via a seamless process of initiating and receiving calls on the mobile phone at attractive rates, anytime, anywhere. Substantial cost savings is just one of the many benefits to the mobile phone user.

“UNOS Voice is not another VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) solution. It is much, much more than that. UNOS Voice is one of the three pillars of development (in Voice, Data and Application) under the UNOS Convergence Platform, and will pioneer a series of further releases,” says Michael Ta, FSBM Multimedia and Communications Group CEO. “We make registration and downloading of the MIDlet easy. Register online, and we will over-the-air (“OTA”) the MIDlet to the users’ mobile phone in as fast as just two minutes”.

The overall key benefits of UNOS Voice are substantially reduced roaming calls and sms charges; no monthly fee or minimum charges; no need to change existing mobile service operator; PBX functionalities at users’ fingertips; simple and seamless ways to initiate and receive calls anytime/ anywhere; stay connected globally via existing mobile number; and direct access to existing mobile phone contact list.
The expanded mobile phone capabilities enabled by the UNOS Voice MIDlet are categorized under six main PBX functionalities:-

- UNOS Voice Call
This service enables the user to initiate International Direct Dial (IDD) calls, locally or while overseas, at affordable UNOS IDD call rates. The user will have direct access to his mobile phone book listing when initiating the call.

- UNOS Receiving Calls
This service enables the user to receive voice calls and SMS call alert while overseas, without having to pay expensive roaming charges. UNOS Receiving Call function will also provide the user the caller’s identity.

- UNOS Buddy Call
This service is much like an operator-assist call function in that it allows user to connect voice calls between 2 other parties. The user and the 2 parties can be physically located anywhere in the world.

- UNOS Hotel Connect
This service allows the users to make a voice call from his hotel room telephone without having to pay expensive hotel call charges. The user is able to make multiple calls one at a time or concurrently.

- UNOS Conference Call
This service allows the user to initiate conference calls to up to 20 concurrent conference participants at anytime, anywhere. For normal conference calls, participants have to call in to a specific number at a specific time. Using UNOS, the user can initiate a Conference Call directly from his mobile phone, and add more participants during the call, effectively turning the mobile phone in a command & control centre on-the-fly. This service is not only highly useful in emergency situations, but also greatly improves the efficiency and productivity of businesses.

- UNOS Roaming SMS
While overseas, this service allows the user to send roaming SMS to any foreign location at very affordable rates while they are at overseas. Much like the push conference call feature, it allows the user to send the same message to multiple recipients.

“With UNOS Voice, the basic mobile phone is transformed into a powerful and sophisticated handheld device, with the fundamental ability to reduce mobile charges and increase the communication experience in so many ways,” adds Dato’ Tan Hock San, President of FSBM Holdings Berhad.

What customers need to think about it ...

UNOS works with all sorts of networks and IP technologies over mobile telecommunication networks such as GRPS, EDGE, 3G and etc.

And it is software based (very thin client)...

So, think of it as SKYPE for all your mobile phones now. Assuming that everybody has mobile phones and all phones are installed with SKYPE and phones are connected to the Internet, thus the only cost is literally the cost of maintaining connection to the Internet, which should be a fixed cost.

For UNOS, it could be tricky because depending on your connection to the Internet, if you are connecting using GPRS and even with cheaper than usual call rates, it may not be cheap at the end of the day.

If you are using 3G or WiMAX (if you have a WiMAX phone), then perhaps things will be cheaper.

But the best is that with UNOS installed on your phone, you can literally travel the whole world with just one mobile phone, SIM card and telco provider. Which means that if you travel to U.K, you don't have to put through the hassle of getting a U.K number and putting your Malaysia number in dormant mode. But then again, also you have to calculate the costs of roaming charges from the telco side.

Start a spreadsheet and evaluate for yourself!

This is also very similar to Redtone's Travelfon in terms of voice services. But of course, at this point of time, we are not investigating whether Travelfon is based on SoIP technology.

Otherwise, you can contact the official marketeer who is FSBM.


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