T-Mobile Adds Free Voice Calling through Facebook Using 'Bobsled' App

T-Mobile has 33 million customers based in the United States, and now the wireless carrier hopes to increase its reach 15-fold with a new application, "Bobsled," which lets people call each other free through Facebook. The service lets any Facebook user, even those outside of the United States, make voice calls to Facebook friends who […]

T-Mobile has 33 million customers based in the United States, and now the wireless carrier hopes to increase its reach 15-fold with a new application, "Bobsled," which lets people call each other free through Facebook. The service lets any Facebook user, even those outside of the United States, make voice calls to Facebook friends who are on Facebook chat. They can also leave public or private voice messages as wall postings for their friends.

Brad Duea, Senior Vice President at T-Mobile, had this to say about Bobsled, and the tremendous impact it could have on the usage of Facebook: "Even though we're a mobile company, we don't want to be limited to mobile," said Duea. "We want to be where customers are, and every day, half of the Internet logs into Facebook."

Eventually, Mr. Duea said, the company wants to add video functionality to Bobsled and expand the app to other platforms, including Internet-connected televisions and even gaming consoles.

Future intentions for Bobsled include adding video chat to its list of features, and even porting the app to other forms of media, such as Internet-enabled television sets and even gaming consoles, such as Microsoft's Xbox 360.

At some point the company may enable calls and text messages to mobile phones and landlines throussssgh the service, he said.

According to Duea, the goal of the Bobsled app is to aid further evolution and development of the company, from a wireless carrier into a complete communications service. For many wireless providers, revenue is declining due to the increased number of alternatives available online, such as Skype. Less encouragingly for Bobsled, the pending merger between T-Mobile and AT&T may not give the application a very long lifespan.

[Source: The New York Times]