Jajah, an Israeli VOIP provider, is taking VOIP to the next level with a new product called Jajah Direct. As its official blog explains, the service offers international calls for the price of a local call with no need for internet connection. Unlike Gizmo, Skype, Vonage and other VOIP providers, JaJah Direct removes the need for a computer. Also it does not require any kind of installation, the signing of long documents or paying expensive phone taxes. I tried it, and it works great.
To call someone internationally for the cost of a local call you simply dial the local JAJAH number (currently available in approximately 20 big cities), dial the number you’d like to call anywhere in the world, and just like that – Jajah connects you for free or almost free. Intel and Deutsche Telecom are providing Jajah with the technical and financial support to provide the service.
Connection to Israel
Jajah wasf ounded by Austrians Roman Scharf and Daniel Mattes in 2005 and is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Its main development center, customer support and quality control is located in Israel. In addition, Yair Goldfinger, co-founder of the instant messaging service ICQ, seats on Jajah’s board.
Part of a larger plan
Earlier this year, Jajah partnered with Jangl, a company that connects millions of online profiles to virtual mobile phones. This could be a great opportunity to cooperate, as stated in the agreement between the two companies:
Jangl will leverage JAJAH’s telephony infrastructure to deliver phone services in 122 countries, further speeding Jangl’s growth as it continues to forge partnerships with top online personals and social networking communities, where it already powers in?context calling capabilities in more than 40 million online profiles.
– Jangl and JAJAH will collaborate in serving voice advertising for mobile and landline calls. Jangl will become a publisher and begin to further monetize its traffic with audio advertising. JAJAH will supply its in-call advertising appliance to overlay audio advertising on Jangl calls.
There are other companies offering similar services. One of them is Talkster, which created local access numbers for free international calls through its Facebook application. You can be certain that JaJah is losing money on this deal right now. The play here is for brand recognition and community building. With Skype hurting under Ebay’s wing, JaJah has the chance to become the leading provider in consumer VOIP.