Polish fixed-line and cable operator UPC has launched a softphone service that enables subscribers who are traveling abroad to make and receive calls from their mobile phones to UPC landline numbers at no extra charge. As long as the subscriber has internet connectivity via 3G or Wi-Fi, calls will be charged as if they were made from that subscriber’s UPC landline in Poland. The service will work from any mobile handset whatsoever, regardless of the network it is on.
UPC’s VoIP service is a good way for fixed line operators to leverage their customers’ mobile subscriptions with other entities. It is also a value-added service that could help keep these customers as landline subscribers in an increasingly mobile world. As such, we consider it a good, solid retention play. It also represents, if only indirectly, another assault on mobile operators’ revenue streams – in this case roaming charges.