Last week, Rogers unveiled ‘One Number’ – a service that lets you do video calls, send SMS texts, and make/ receive standard voice calls on your computer, all using your wireless number. The USP of this service is to let customers use a single phone number to talk, text, and email on their mobile devices and computers.
Earlier this week, CounterPath, a Vancouver-based company announced that its the technology provider behind One Number. CounterPath also announced that it has entered into a commercial agreement with Rogers Communications over this “first of its kind service in Canada” which lets Canadians use their wireless numbers to enable single-number reachability by talk and text whether they are using their mobile devices or computers.
Do such One Number services represent the future of telco voice? I’m not sure. None the less, it’s heartening to see Canadian companies take up the challenge when bigger players such as Google Voice snubbed Canada.
CounterPath is based in Vancouver and has grown steadily over the years since it launched in 2002 with three employees. The company now has employees 100 employees and it specializes in building innovative SIP-based softphones, server applications and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions for service providers, enterprises, OEMs and end users. CounterPath created the softphone portal using its proprietary Bria technology for the Rogers’ One Number service.
“Service providers worldwide know that their customers want a convenient, cost-effective way to stay in touch across multiple devices and networks, leveraging a single phone number,” said Donovan Jones, President and CEO, CounterPath. “As Canada’s largest wireless provider, Rogers continues to demonstrate innovation by delivering the kind of single-number voice, video and messaging reachability that consumers want.”
Rogers is leveraging CounterPath’s IMS expertise to create a bridge between its existing wireless network and the latter’s feature-rich VoIP and video platform. Thanks to CounterPath’s advanced switching technology, One Number customers can initiate free calls on their computer and then hand it off to their phone.
Several analysts believe there’s a good market for such services as one number serves as a key enabler of unified communication and digital identity in the future. It’s still early days though and it will be interesting to see how consumers react to new services as such as One Number.