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Raketu – Another VOIP Application For BlackBerry

RaketuI have finally had a chance to read some of my emails over CES and noticed this press release from Raketu. I guess the mobile VOIP space for BlackBerry just got even more crowded. I didn’t know there was such a large demand for it since there are already 4 different solutions out there (EQO, Packet8, Gizmo Project, & Jajah). A little competition never hurts  but is there really such a large demand? Personally I just use 3utelecom that has no fees or prepaid requirements.

The new Raketu service has some of the weirdest caricatures on the homepage. You can pick up the application OTA from this link: http://BlackBerry.raketu.com

From the Press Release:

The new web-based application allows business users of the BlackBerry Curve™, BlackBerry 8800 Series, and BlackBerry Pearl™ to make international calls totally free or at Raketu’s ultra-low cost VoIP calling rates. Additionally, business users can send SMS Text Messages globally, and send email all from within the Raketu BlackBerry Application.

“With over twelve million users of the BlackBerry worldwide, the introduction of our Raketu BlackBerry Application marks our definitive entry into the mobile business market,” said Greg Parker, president and CEO of Raketu. “For businesses whose employees initiate a significant number of international calls from their BlackBerry mobile devices, Raketu’s BlackBerry Application is a great way to reduce monthly calling costs.”

Raketu’s BlackBerry Application Features

Raketu’s new BlackBerry Application is entirely web-based and does not require consumers to download any software. BlackBerry users can sign up and access the service via their BlackBerry web browser at http://BlackBerry.raketu.com. Using Raketu’s BlackBerry application, users can call Internationally for free or at Raketu’s ultra-low cost VoIP calling rates. Raketu users who sign up and make a payment of $9.95, $24.95 or $49.95 to their Raketu account are eligible for up to 600 free calling minutes per month towards BlackBerry initiated phone-to-phone calls. See www.Raketu.com. for details and free zones.

Additionally, Raketu’s BlackBerry Application allows users to send SMS Text Messages globally at the lowest international text rates available. The application can also be used to send email.

2 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I don’t have time to check this new VoIP service out (or the 3utelecom.com service you recommended in that other post – how do we make hyperlinks in this comment box?), but for now I can say that Gizmo is not the most usable option out there. AFAIC, it really wants a direct TCP connection, so BIS users like me are simply out of luck. Even if you do have a direct TCP connection, a quick visit to the gizmo5.com forums will reveal a remarkable number of issues disappointing the eager adopters.
    .
    I know nothing about EQO and Packet8, gotta check them out too when I get some time. My gripe with Jajah is that it doesn’t accept Paypal. NO WAY I’m going to give my credit card number to a company I know so little about. Apart from that, I really like the concept.
    .
    Anyway, my point is that you can’t have too much competition. 😉

  2. Damn, I couldn’t wait. The whole description of services in the Web site was way too exciting for me to pass. So I made an account…
    .
    The good:
    + VERY cheap rates, lower than Skype!
    + Nice special rates/conditions for Raketu-to-Raketu calls.
    + Powerful integration of features (VoIP, SMS, multi-protocol IM etc.) But that’s just on their desktop application.
    + They really try to help you use the service. If your phone doesn’t have a browser, you still can request calls via SMS.
    + Great cartoons. :-)
    .
    The bad (let’s get this over with already):
    – Very cheap rates indeed, but Raketu requires callbacks, so every call in fact incurs the cost of two calls, just like Skype or Jajah.
    – There is no Blackberry app! They try to put all the spin and make it sound like it’s very convenient, but it isn’t since there is no integration with the phone’s address book. We have to open the site, log in, then fill in a Web form with the two phone numbers we want to connect. An-noy-ing! The site provides its own phone book, but I’m sick of apps and services that think it is reasonable for me to keep replicating my address book hither and thither. I am NOT going to be filling yet another one. And their cookie jar needs some fixing, cos I explored their site for one minute, clicked a link to http://BlackBerry.raketu.com and had to log in *again*! Ex-tra an-noy-ing!
    – The desktop application runs on Windows only. They promise Mac and Linux (yeah, right!) versions sometime one of these days, but I will not hold my breath.
    – Credits expire in 3 months (versus 6 months with Skype).
    .
    .
    That is why competition is never enough. This match is badly tied!
    For an occasional caller like me, the lack of address book integration might not be such a big deal, but the short 3-month expiration period pushes me towards Skype. The only Skype application for Blackberry (IM+ for Skype) costs $25 though, which makes me pick neither Skype nor Raketu, I buy international calling cards. The rates aren’t very attractive and dialing is a pain, but very rarely have I ever needed to place an international call from the streets with my cell phone. I can’t justify the upfront $25.
    For a very frequent caller, the 3-month expiration period should be no problem, but the lack of address book integration certainly is a major obstacle. A frequent caller should definitely go with IM+ for Skype. It is a lot more convenient.
    .
    Everyone should keep an eye on Raketu, though. It still sounds very promising.

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