By Alok Saboo on January 29th, 2012
Given how mobile operators are ripping off their consumers, one does not expect a lot from them. It is thus surprising that T-Mobile, one of the largest global wireless carriers, launched a mobile VoIP (mVoIP) service – Bobsled – that allows you to make unlimited FREE calls to USA, Canada and Puerto Rico and also connect with your Facebook friends. Bobsled can be used from anywhere across the world and you do not even have to be a T-Mobile subscriber to use it. So, let us take Bobsled for a ride and see if it worth all the fuss.
Bobsled has two separate services – Calling and Messaging. As the names suggest, Bobsled Calling allows you to make voice calls and is available for all browsers, iOS, and Android; whereas Bobsled Messaging focuses on messaging (including group messaging) and is available for browsers and Android (with an iOS app coming soon). We will focus on the Bobsled Calling service for this post as the Messaging service is very similar to the Facebook Messenger.
Virtually anyone can use Bobsled Calling – it is available for your browser as well as both Android and iOS devices. So, go ahead and get the appropriate version right now…
To start using the service, just log in with your Facebook account and you are good to go. You will see Facebook contacts and you can chat with them, call them, or leave a voice message. You can also use your address book or the dial pad to call any regular landline or mobile phone in USA, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
You can also use Bobsled on your browser, allowing almost everyone (even those without access to smartphones or tablets) to use the service. You may be required to download and install the Bobsled desktop app to use it on your computer.
The following video provides a detailed walkthrough and should clarify any doubts that you may have.
Overall, Bobsled is a fairly powerful service. The voice quality is great and the app is relatively stable. I would have loved to see an option to use the service without a Facebook account, but it is not a deal breaker.
More importantly, it is nice to see a wireless operator extending the benefits of VoIP to consumers. Let us hope that other operators learn from T-Mobile and provide such services to their consumers.