Orcon extends Genius internet voice calling service to iPhone, Android apps
Orcon has extended its Genius VoIP (internet calling) service to include new iPhone and Android apps.
CEO Greg McAlister says the apps allow you to access your home line (and and your homeline calling rate) when you're on your cellphone. "When your homeline rings, your mobile rings."
Calls to other users of the Orcon Genius app are free, but Mr McAlister says it works best if one party has wi-fi. If both cellphones are on 3G, quality can be "a bit dodgy" he say. (He adds this is not typically an issue for using the app to access your landline, given your home connection is plugged into the wall, or accessed via wi-fi.)
While the original Genius was a joint R&D effort between Orcon and Australian ISP iiNet, Mr McAlister tells NBR the technology behind the app was developed in-house, with a contract web developer (Sush Mobile) working on the interface. There are no plans to extend Genius to Microsoft Windows Phone and BlackBerry apps "unless they pay us."
The new CEO is still unwilling to identify members of the private investor syndicate who bought Orcon from Kordia. He did update NBR that moves had been made to address "two possible pain points". Service and support had been tightened up, and the ISP has just bought an additional 5Gbit/s of international bandwidth.
RAW DATA: Orcon media release
ORCON GENIUS GO SET TO REVOLUTIONISE HOME PHONE USE
New mobile application enables Kiwis to take home phones anywhere
Kiwi callers can now take their home phones anywhere – and bring down the cost of national and international calling.
Orcon today launches Genius Go, an innovative new smartphone application (app) for its home broadband users*. It is New Zealand’s first ISP developed smartphone app to fully integrate landlines and smartphones and enables Orcon customers to make full use of their Genius home phone bundles.
The app extends Genius’ home line functionality by synchronising the home phone with one or more smartphones. Calling bundles – national, mobile and international – now apply whether the call originated from the home phone or the Genius Go app. Orcon’s latest plans include free national landline calling – making Genius Go the smartest way to call a New Zealand landline from a mobile.
In addition, customers can answer their home phone on their smartphones – no matter whether they are in the house or away from it. The app and home phone rings simultaneously with users having the choice to switch off the app when at home – or leave it on and answer from the couch or the garden or even while on an international holiday.
Genius Go also delivers handy features expected from any smartphone calling app. Users can see who else is online; call other users; send Instant Messages to other app users and view the app’s 3G data consumption and set alerts for when specific data levels are reached.
Orcon Chief Executive Officer Greg McAlister says the app will change the way Kiwis connect.
“With home phone and broadband packages becoming more competitive, consumers are continually looking for new value and new innovation,” says McAlister.
“We created Genius Go with this in mind; so our customers could get the most out of their broadband bundles. We also wanted to set a precedent among other telecommunications providers. The advances in Internet Protocol technology over the past few years mean new and more affordable ways of communicating exist, and we at Orcon are here to make these new technologies available to as many New Zealanders as possible.
“You’re never going to miss a call, ever; because it is always routed to the place most convenient for you. People typically carry their smart phone at all times – and this app just makes your home phone more convenient, and can save you money.
“We when launched the Genius modem, we introduced a mass market VoIP product to New Zealand and this drove broadband and phone costs down to the now-industry standard $75. I’m convinced that Genius Go will also help Kiwi households save money by using technology to do things smarter.”
Orcon today also announced it had halved the price of its fixed line to mobile calling bundles, with calls starting at just 8c a minute.
• Fully integrates with home phone
• Receive home phone calls from anywhere on a smartphone (optionally turn this off)
• Make local landline calls from up to five smartphones linked to your home account, simultaneously
• Make free calls on your smartphone to destinations for which you have a home calling bundle (national, mobile and international),
• Make free calls and message (via data) to other smartphones that have the app
Orcon is New Zealand's fourth biggest ISP, and the third largest internet wholesaler in New Zealand. Orcon employs around 200 people and provides services to more than 60,000 New Zealand businesses and homes.