Pinger, a developer of communications services for smartphone platforms, announced Textfree with Voice, the first application-based communication suite for smartphones with free phone numbers for texting and calling functions. The current version of Textfree, version 3.4, is the leading texting app in the iTunes App Store. Textfree with Voice, available later this summer, includes free voice services over 3G and Wi-Fi. The new service will drastically alter traditional fee structures for mobile phones by monetizing text and voice traffic with advertising.
Traditional carriers charge mobile consumers hundreds of dollars per year for texting plans alone. Unlimited messaging plans for individuals can cost as much as $240 a year, while unlimited family messaging plans cost up to $360 per year. Textfree with Voice combines real phone numbers for messaging and calling via data channels, resulting in consumer savings of hundreds of dollars per year on texting and voice charges. Pinger plans to offer Textfree with Voice directly to its 20 million iPhone OS customers.
Pinger makes Textfree with Voice free to consumers by offsetting costs with mobile advertising. Already profitable, Pinger is in partnership with leading mobile advertising networks including Google, Admob, Quattro Wireless, and Millennial Media, and plans to fully support Apple’s recently announced iAd platform.
Quite possibly, Textfree with Voice will also revolutionize connected devices like iPod touch and iPad. These devices access the Internet through nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi connections and can route text and voice traffic directly to Pinger. This means consumers can have free, rich texting and voice services without a relationship or contract with traditional mobile carriers.