UPC’s new smartphone app enables phone calls within any Wi-Fi network

21 Jan 2014

Ronan McEvoy, head of consumer products, UPC Ireland

UPC is trialling a new smartphone app that allows its Home Phone customers to make calls through their smartphones anywhere they can connect to a Wi-Fi approach.

The move, which will no doubt save mobile phone costs, echoes capabilities of services like Skype and Viber and will no doubt be watched with interest and possibly wariness by mobile networks in Ireland.

It emerged before Christmas that UPC was in talks with mobile operator Three about potentially launching an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) service.

The free app is being trialled by 1,000 customers and a full roll out will begin in the spring.

The app will also enable the cable network’s customers avoid expensive roaming charges when abroad because they can ring as if locally once they are inside a Wi-Fi network.

The app can also help parents manage how much they spend on credit for their childrens’ mobile phones. Families can manage their registered devices using the My UPC service on upc.ie.

Up to three devices on a UPC Home account can use the app at the same time.

The app will be available free of charge for UPC Home Phone customers on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“It allows UPC customers to get the best value from their home phone minutes, but with the convenience of easy access to their mobile contact list to make calls at home, out and about – and even abroad,” said UPC Ireland’s head of consumer products Ronan McEvoy.

Last week, UPC launched a new free Wi-Fi service for 10,000 broadband customers in Limerick, which will roll out for all UPC customers in the coming months.

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