Sabeer Bhatia's VoIP Initiative

by Hanil Manghani    Mar 03, 2006

Famous entrepreneur Sabeer Bhatia and Co-founder Yogesh Patel have launched the Beta version of VoiFi (derived from voice over WiFi) - a freely downloadable VoIP solution that combines P2P telephony and instant messaging with entertainment.

Explaining why the locally developed software was also launched in India, Sabeer Bhatia, Co-founder and CEO, VoiFi Technology Corporation said, “India has the potential to be the world’s largest market after China, due to increasing broadband penetration, market size and the motivation of cost savings. We will though subsequently expand to US with US-centric games, besides neighboring Asian and Middle Eastern markets.”

The product offers a host of features like multi-party text chat, voicemail; file transfers using P2P network, avatars to establish online ‘personality’ or for privacy, voice blogging, and customized ring and call tones. Games include Teen Patti, War Zone, Snakes and Ladders and Tic-tac-toe, and more to follow, with plans to add video and music in later versions.

Bhatia is upbeat about the VoIP space. “It’s a very fast growing market. Broadband is on the upswing in India, and this is a killer application for a broadband connection, as it enables free communication. I think the corporation of the future will do away with the traditional phone system, and switch to IP cut to down on communication costs,” he said.

Commenting on the revenue model, Yogesh Patel, Co-founder and CTO, VoiFi Technology Corporation said, “We initially hope for a few million users by the end of the year to start off. Our revenue stream is based on two angles - advertisement based, and via paid service from dial off calls to landlines or mobiles, for which we are in discussions with a few Indian telco’s to provide this service for as little as Re1 per minute.”

“We also intended to offer this service on mobile phones, which would give us access to GPRS users of the 70 million subscriber base. Another revenue stream would be selling server, software and the client to corporate clients who want to have access to voicemail, save data for later retrieval, and communicate over their own network,” added Bhatia.

On the security front, he reassured, “We offer encryption, also since its P2P, calls are not saved, or saved on the customer’s server.”

Commenting on the SIP based advantage, Bhatia informed, “When manufacturers make SIP based handsets, this service can easily interoperate with them. Competition has proprietary protocols. The SIP based protocol enables us to expand and interface with other PBX compliant handsets that are SIP compliant SIP based chat.”

Tags: VoiFi, VoIP