O2 launches VOIP tech with O2 Connect

Customers can use wi-fi to send texts or call any UK mobile or landline number

O2 has launched the trial of its new mobile service allowing its customers to make phone calls and text mobile phones and landlines through a wi-fi network

VOIP tech will be granted to customers through O2 Connect, which will initially be available on iOS and Android smartphones and will eventually roll out to others. The wi-fi hotspots can be any, not just O2's.

"This trial will allow us to explore the potential of delivering VoIP services to customers. We hope to launch O2 Connect as a commercial service in 2012," said Richard Porter, Head of Consumer Mobile Products, O2 in the UK.

VOIP is the same tech used with Skype, but with O2 Connect, calls and texts will be free over wi-fi only in the UK and cannot be used for international communication.

The trial begins in October 2011 by invitation only; 1000 people will be invited and will include O2 consumer and business customers. It will also be extended to attendees at Wired 2011.

Once the service is released commercially we'll know more about pricing details.

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