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Bababoo puts smarts in mobile calling

Tue, 05/03/2011 - 8:00am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

While there have been a lot of VoIP (Skype) and pseudo-VoIP (Google Voice) solutions that promise to revolutionize the way we communicate, few have actually managed to see that revolution through to its end. Today's official launch of Bababoo, an intelligent VoIP solution, hopes to truly make communications more efficient.

So what's Bababoo? It's a service and application that replaces the traditional dialer on your phone and automatically picks the most cost-efficient network (Wi-Fi, 3G, VoIP, Bababoo, carrier minutes) for placing any given call.

For instance, Bababoo might sell you a package of prepaid domestic minutes for just under 2 cents a minute, while you're currently paying anywhere from 7 to 8 cents per minute with your carrier. If the Bababoo dialer sees that it will be cheaper to use Bababoo minutes, it will do just that. The equation becomes even more intriguing when you consider the high costs of international calling.

Bababoo also offers group calling, and there's no porting of numbers. The number people see is your assigned carrier number.

Buck French, CEO of Bababoo, says the problem with most traditional VoIP services is that they ask too much of the general user. "They ask you to change your behavior and in most cases that's just not going to happen. With Bababoo, all you have to decide is whether you want to pay less by hitting the blue Bababoo icon or pay more by hitting the green button," he said, referring to the native iPhone dialer.

French says Bababoo has no aspirations towards being a network provider. "We're all about making the smartphone smart," he said. "The point is that... no one's taken advantage of the platform and used it to its fullest extent."

Currently, Bababoo will choose between Bababoo minutes and various network technologies, but French said the company is open to the inclusion of other VoIP networks. So for instance, if Skype or Viber were the cheaper route, your phone could also dial through those services.

The Bababoo app is currently available for iOS with an Android version coming soon.

Check out the video below for a look at how it works:



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