|Calling made easy, dial JAJAH|
JAJAH believes that phones are the best way to make calls and integrates them with the Internet to provide a unique telephony solution. By Neeraj Gandhi
Imagine talking to your relatives in the USA or UK and not paying for the conversation. Sounds pretty good does it not. The best part is that you can do this sitting at home. All you need is a phone connection. Err? No. That’s right, only a phone connection. No computer, no broadband, and you can speak to anybody, anywhere, anytime, courtesy JAJAH.
JAJAH provides free or low cost global calling from mobile phones or landlines without actually having to sit in front of the computer, downloading complex software or even having a broadband connection. The Internet is required only to initiate the call.
“The Internet has touched us all. It has changed the way we do everyday things. It has changed the way we stay informed, the way we shop for the products that we want, even the way that we find and listen to music. In the same way, JAJAH will change the way that we all use the telephone,” says Roman Scharf, CEO and co-founder, JAJAH.
Laying the foundation
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, JAJAH was founded by Daniel Mattes and Roman Scharf with the vision of bringing to smarter and cheaper telephony solutions to the masses. It is unique in the sense that unlike other VoIP providers, JAJAH requires no headsets and offers cheap international calls.
It started its operations in March 2006. In just one year it boasts of a huge base of more than two million customers in 55 countries. At present the company has users in USA, UK, Canada, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Venezuela and many more. Europe, the United States and Asia are its biggest markets.
Ranked among the Red Herring top 100, placed above Microsoft and Yahoo, the company has offices in Munich (Germany), Vienna (Austria) and Luxembourg to manage its European operations, and a Research & Development center in Ra’anana, Israel. With just over 70 employees, JAJAH works to bring vastly improved telephony solutions to the world.
“JAJAH is a different type of phone company dedicated to providing customers with phone calls at a better price. It offers an innovative way of making cheap calls without headphones, microphones or software downloads or a broadband connection,” says Scharf.
What is it that makes the company different from other VoIP service providers? “Unlike other companies that are trying to replace the phone with the computer, we at JAJAH believe that phones are great just way they are. Phones work. People are not interested in headsets, downloads or hotspots. They simply want to make a call and we completely agree,” Scharf adds.
How it works
JAJAH uses the Internet in order to connect two standard phones (landline or mobile), thus implementing both the advantage of the Internet as a low-cost or free service and the comfort of using a regular telephone device. In the process two local regular PSTN calls, anywhere in the world, (last mile) are bridged by a high bandwidth Internet connection.
The user has to visit www.jajah.com where he can simply enter his number and the number that he wishes to call. JAJAH will then call back both parties, over the phone line. No headsets, no phone plans, or calling cards are required. All this is available at a minimal rate.
Throughout the call, it is not required of the caller to stay connected to the Internet. Once the number is entered on the Web site and the call button is clicked, the call is transferred by the Jajah VoIP controller onto the mobile or land line number from where the caller desires to make the call.
JAJAH has a plethora of telephony services on its platter. Here’s a look at what the company has to offer to its users in India.
* Conference Calls: JAJAH conference calling allows the user to schedule and initiate cheap conference calls with friends and colleagues in an easy-to-use online set up. This conference call service is unique in the sense that no costs at all will arise for the other conference call participants.
* Scheduled Calls: The scheduled call service allows the user to plan the JAJAH calls ahead. With this service, the user can decide at what time and date the service will connect your call. The scheduled call system also allows callers who use the same phone line for an Internet connection and telephone calls to use JAJAH. There is no cost whatsoever for scheduling a call.
* SMS Service: Through this service the user can send SMS to mobile phones around the world. These messages can be sent at a specific date and time (scheduled message) and sent to multiple recipients with one click. A message can be sent to ten recipients in a single go.
JAJAH BETA: Dynamic Buttons
JAJAH buttons is a tool to organize calls, schedule them and also to maintain the privacy of the user.
This service allows the user to select whether to receive calls, transfer them to voice mail, SMS or e-mail as per his convenience. A user can also schedule his calls through these buttons. For instance, incoming calls between 9 and 12 am can be directed to the office phone, between 5 and 8 pm can be routed to the mobile phone or even e-mail or SMS, as the user desires. These buttons can also be pasted as the e-mail signature.
Partners in progress
When JAJAH embarked upon its journey last year, the founders had no idea that it would be successful. In a year’s time, the user base has gone from zero to over two million. “Vodafone has a presence in 20 countries, German Telecom provides services in 16 countries, and JAJAH has a presence in 55 countries across the world. This, in itself, speaks of the popularity of the services that we offer,” says Scharf.
Today the company has some top companies as its partners. The list includes; Microsoft, Intel, AOL, IBM, Apple, Google, eMobile, Mozilla, and Logitech among others.
After making its presence felt in 200 different destinations, in 55 countries across the world, JAJAH is ready to take on the Indian market. Here in India, the company aims at reducing the call rates to and from India. As an introductory offer, from now until August 15, 2007, Indians calling their relatives or friends in the USA or UK will be charged Rs 3.10 per minute, if they route their calls through JAJAH. This is below the standard international calling rates.
“With approximately 200 million telephony subscribers, India presents a huge opportunity for us. And we take great pleasure in providing cheap and better calling services to them. In the future we see India as one of our top five most favored destinations,” says Scharf.
The company has planned a two-phased strategy for India. In the first phase, that begins now, users will be charged a minimal amount when they call abroad or even other JAJAH users back in India. Here’s how it’s going to work. The user will have to visit www.jajah.com where he can simply enter his number and the number he wishes to call. JAJAH will then call back both parties, over the phone line. No headsets, no phone plans, or calling cards are required. This can also be done using a smartphone.
During the second phase that begins in October and by that time the company presumes that it will have a substantial number of users, calling will no longer require the caller to log onto the company’s Web site to enter the numbers. By then the company plans to introduce a system where both domestic and international calls will be connected directly from a landline or a mobile phone. The caller will have to simply dial a number and the call will be routed through the JAJAH VoIP controllers installed in different countries.
That’s not all. It is not only cheaper call rates that the company has in store for India. “Our long term commitment is to make voice free. Once we have generated the desired user base, we will make calls free. A JAJAH user in India would then be able to make calls to other JAJAH users in India and even abroad for free,” says Scharf. In fact the company has offered similar services to users in China, US, UK, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Spain and Australia etc.
JAJAH will also bring to India what it calls the Community Benefits Service. The Indian community members will have the opportunity to earn free talking minutes by referring others to the network.