Changing the way the people communicate

Talkster: A New Voice 2.0 Company

Posted by talkster on October 18, 2006

This story originally posted October 18 on Alec Saunders .Log.

The preferred attack point for cellular VoIP plays today seems to be disintermediating mobile long distance from the handset. For the last few weeks I’ve been playing with and alpha release of Talkster, a new Voice 2.0 offering which does exactly that.

Talkster’s promise is that you will be able to make inexpensive long distance calls from any mobile handset to anyplace in the world without downloading new software. Unlike Jajah, Talkster allows the call to be originated frmo the handset (without a downloaded client) which is much less expensive in Europe. Unlike Rebtel, Talkster requires no special numbers to be created and mapped. The service operates transparently. In addition, unlike either of the above services, Talkster lets you terminate your calls on literally any client you can think of — IM, a PSTN handset, or VoIP. Moreover, it gathers presence information from your contacts IM accounts to show you whether or not the recipient might be available to take that call.

To use, you simply browse to an available contact and initiate a call. You can see each user’s online presence, and then choose to make a call to that user. The first photo below shows Talkster running in the Blackberry 8700 window, with “available” presence indicated for Janice, and the Talkster helpdesk, but not Andy or Howard. What you can’t see is that Janice is reachable either on MSN, or via her home or cell phone lines, while Andy’s contact record is set to reach him on either his Gizmo project number, or his GrandCentral number.

The second photo shows the two modes that Talkster can operate in. You can have it perform a callback, the way that Jajah does, or have it initiate the call from your handset,as Rebtel requires.

Calling using T@lkster T@lkster call out window

Talkster came out of stealth at the recent Voice 2.0 conference in Ottawa. After CEO James Wanless’ pitch, I had a chance to catch up with him and CTO Mark Gelman at the Voice 2.0 conference. Gelman let it casually be known that one of the “hidden under the covers” features of Talkster is a web services interface, allowing the Talkster system to be driven from an application. That feature alone has tremendous potential, and the ability to make Talkster into a true long tail player in the Voice 2.0 ecosystem.

This company has a lot of promise. Watch for the open beta coming soon.

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2 Responses to “Talkster: A New Voice 2.0 Company”

  1. Interesting comments above, but both miss important points. Only Talkster lets you place calls from your mobile phone to voice-over-IM services (MSN, Google Talk, Gizmo Project with others promised soon). And, they do that without requiring a special phone (other than one that has a browser) or software to be installed and it works with any cellular network.

    I think Officedoodles confused the Blackberry in Alec’s post as being required for the service. But I’ve used Talkster on a plain old clamshell Motorola phone. And John’s post about Switch-Mobile misses the fact that their Globedialer service is only about making calls to other phones. Talkster lets a user call SIP phones without phone numbers and IM clients. Switch-Mobile also requires a special kind of phone and the user to install software. The other thing to note is that Talkster, in their alpha release, already has more features than Switch-Mobile does. People should surf to to sign up for the Talkster beta and then they can compare the services themselves.

    One other note, I work for Talkster’s PR agency. And if Switch-Mobile or any other service provider thinks they may have something competitive to offer, we invite those companies to a public comparison. Please send me an email to john.s (at) themoprblog (dot) com.

  2. Celinka said

    Hi. Very nice Post. Not really what i have searched over Google, but thanks for the information. Can you email me back, please. Thank you.

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