05/03/2008 - 22:00

The Buzz about VoIP

05/03/2008 - 22:00

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A new piece of technology developed by Nedlands-based TheBuzz Corp aims to allow people to make low cost phone calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) without needing a broadband connection or a computer.

A new piece of technology developed by Nedlands-based TheBuzz Corp aims to allow people to make low cost phone calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) without needing a broadband connection or a computer.

Its backers claim the BuzzBox lets residential phone users make local, mobile, STD and international calls on their landline for less than the cost charged by most major Australian telcos.

The unit connects from the home phone to the wall socket, and routes calls over the internet using BuzzVoIP.

TheBuzz Corp chief executive Kevin Fynn said the product was the only one of its kind in Australia.

“It brings the advantages of VoIP to people without needing the internet,” he said. “You just plug and play; there’s no configuration, no set up, you just use the phone as you would usually do.”

The BuzzBox was officially launched last month in Ballarat, Victoria, as part of a market test focusing on one regional area.

After one month, the company had signed up almost 400 clients, essentially reaching 1 per cent of the local market.

The company completed its first round of capital raising in July last year raising $1.2 million.

It is now looking to raise $10 million through a second and final round of funding to drive a national rollout.

Mr Fynn said the company’s target was to have about 100,000 customers in 18 months.

With the residential product now on the market, TheBuzz Corp has a number of other products it expects to launch later this year, including a product for small business, mobile phones, and an international roaming product for mobiles.

The company was founded by the Western Australian Telecommunications Research Institute, a joint venture between the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, which focuses on developing telecommunications and electronic technologies.

WATRI has been involved in the start-up of five companies, including hearing technology company Sensear.

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