Openmind helps mobile telcos fight Google and Skype

27 Oct 2010

Irish technology company Openmind Networks has launched a new technology called Portico that will help mobile operators regain ground lost to Skype and Google Voice.

Portico, Openmind says, will help mobile operators stem the loss of revenue caused by telephony applications, such as Skype globally and in North America, Google Voice.

The company said the world’s first deployment will be with an as-yet unnamed European carrier.

With Portico, mobile operators can extend their services to new devices, offering their subscribers the convenience of making and receiving voice calls and texts from the desktop, using their existing mobile number.

“We are keenly aware that operators all over the world are grappling with new competitive challenges facing them,” said Alex Duncan, CEO, Openmind Networks.

“We are delighted to extend our messaging expertise into the internet domain and support mobile operators in their efforts to challenge internet players such as Skype and Google Voice, who are already generating substantial revenues from mobile subscribers. Ireland will remain our centre of innovative excellence and our continued company growth will be supported through new innovations for global mobile markets.”

Bringing the fight to Google Talk

Portico is accessible from any internet browser – offering the benefit of service in low or no-coverage or congested network areas. Embracing the mass adoption of VoIP by key demographic segments, this unique service is positioned as an operator-branded richer alternative, reducing the migration of subscribers when roaming to Skype or, in the US, Google Voice, which has already taken over 1 million subscribers from the US operators.

In recent times, mobile operators have seen their voice and text revenue growth stalled. Portico is a new service that can reverse the decline of call and text revenues. Portico helps to reduce churn and offers additional revenues derived from webphone service subscription fees and advertising via an idle screen advertising feature.

Openmind Networks was founded in Dublin by leading messaging experts who pioneered the development of the technology through the Nineties; leading to some of the most widely deployed systems around the world today.

With the formation of Openmind in 2003, this innovation continued with the development of the Mixed Media Core (XMC) platform. This platform underpins a range of systems that blend advanced routing functionality and user-based messaging services.

It has been deployed in more than 30 systems around the world, encompassing a breadth of countries, such as the USA, Hong Kong, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Russia, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Ghana, Kenya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Egypt and others.

While continuing to evolve its portfolio, Openmind says it recognised the need for mobile operators to defend their position and extend the mobile service beyond the handset and so developed Portico, with the global stage in mind.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years