Truphone Ltd (in UK),
Software Cellular Network Ltd (North America) (in USA),
Startel Communications Co Pty Ltd (in Australia),
SCN Truphone, S.L. (in Spain),
Truphone (Hong Kong) Limited (in Hong Kong),
Tru Pte Ltd (in Singapore), Truphone (Poland) Sp. z o.o. (in Poland)
The company's main product is its GSM service, Truphone, a SIM based mobile service which offers customers standard local rates rather than roaming rates in countries where the company has partnerships with local operators. It also maintains an app-based service that allows free VoIP capabilities, in addition to other features.
The current list of countries where Truphone customers pay only local rates for calls, texts and data are:
The service is not limited to the countries where Truphone has established local networks however, and the service works in and provides discounted roaming in over 220 countries.
Truphone (a trading name of Truphone Ltd, formerly Software Cellular Network Ltd) was founded in 2006 by James Tagg, Alexander Straub and Alistair Campbell.
The company's core business focus is Truphone (launched as Truphone Local Anywhere in January 2010), a GSM SIM-based mobile service which charges customers standard local rates rather than roaming rates in countries where the company has partnerships with local operators.
Truphone was originally formed as a company which developed downloadable mobile VoIPapplications for smartphones, using the integrated Wi-Fi connection on the device. These offered two benefits: 1. Ability to make free or low cost calls on the mobile device in areas where there is weak or no GSM coverage; and 2. Ability to send Instant Messages to other networks.
Truphone's main funding comes from Vollin Holdings Limited, Minden, Somercourt Investments Ltd, Wellington Partners, Eden Ventures, Burda Capital, Independent News and Media and a number of high net worth individuals.
July 13, 2013 : Truphone, in which Roman Abramovich has a stake 23.5% stake for 70 million pounds has warned that it needs to raise fresh funds within 12 months after its losses widened by 20 per cent last year. Its accounts have also been qualified by its auditors, which said that there was uncertainty over its future.
March: "100 Europe" award from Red Herring magazine
June: Releases new functionality allowing VoIP over 3G and SMS over IP
High Court decision against T-Mobile
June: T-Mobile blocked all calls to Tru numbers. As of July 2007 the latter has been resolved through a successful application to the High Court by Truphone, resulting in the award of 'interim relief' against T-Mobile.
July: An injunction was issued by a UK court that forces T-Mobile to allow connection to Truphones's mobile numbers
April: Raised £16.5m ($32.7m) of Series B venture capital funding; Acquired SIM4travel
May: Version 4.0 released, incorporating Truphone Anywhere, an automated call-through and call-back application
July: First VoIP application to be available through iTunes for the iPhone
October: Releases Truphone Anywhere application for BlackBerry handsets
December: Releases application for iPod Touch allowing free iPod-to-iPod calling
April: Truphone acquired SIM4travel, a provider of travel SIM cards, for cash and shares, the first foray for Truphone into the GSM industry. Back-end technology from SIM4travel is now used in the Tru SIM service.
January: Releases application for Android platform; Releases instant messaging capabilities
January: Truphone Local Anywhere (now Tru SIM) launches; Truphone and Vodafone enter MVNO partnership; Truphone launched the first commercially available VoIP application for the Android
April: Truphone launches on the iPad as the first VoIP application available
June: Truphone announces agreements with Vodafone Netherlands and Orange in Spain
December: Truphone expands its suite of applications to the desktop and laptop; Truphone rebrands to Tru; Tru announces that local rates and numbers are now available in Australia
July: Tru announces partnership with Obsidian Wireless and demonstrates Tru Mobile Recording solution
The Tru SIM is a standard GSM service with patented technology which allows customers to have multiple country numbers and local rates for any or all of the countries where Tru has MVNO partnerships with local operators.
Truphone is able to offer local rates for calls, texts and data through MVNO partnerships with local mobile operators. Currently those countries are the United Kingdom, United States and Australia but the company has announced MVNO wholesale partnerships in Hong Kong, Spain and the Netherlands.
Each pre-pay SIM comes with 1 phone number, additional numbers can be purchased for an extra monthly fee (currently $8/month). Business plans include 2 phone numbers as standard.
In addition to the roaming service, Truphone offers mobile call and SMS recording service to financial institutions in the UK to comply with the mobile recording legislation from the Financial Services Authority. The Truphone mobile recording service is delivered through Tru Obsidian, an organisation created out of the acquisition of Obsidian Wireless by Truphone in 2012.
The Tru SIM allows more than one mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) to be added onto the SIM, so a user can have a number for every country Truphone has a local partnership with.
The Smart Caller Line Identification (Smart CLI) technology means that the most appropriate number is displayed on the phone of the person the Tru SIM user is calling.
Truphone’s voice and SMS recording is integrated within the network infrastructure. Recorded conversations can be stored in the cloud or on site using integrated hardware and software solution from Tru Obsidian.
Truphone has MVNO agreements with operators in the UK, USA, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands which form a network of Tru Countries where users can benefit from access to local network. Currently, the UK, USA and Australia are the countries in which local rates and numbers are available for all Tru SIM users.
Truphone's VoIPapplication (known as Tru App), a separate product to the Tru SIM, allows users to make calls over the internet to landline and mobile phone contacts, and free calls to other Tru App users. Customers are also able to instant message contacts on other networks, such as Skype or Windows Live on selected devices.
The application is available as a free download and works on the following devices:
Text messages can be sent from Tru app versions for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Nokia; as well as Apple Mac OS, Windows and Linux. Note as of the release of TruApp version 5 (in October/November 2012), text messaging functionality has been removed from the iOS app and TruApp for iPad has been removed from the Apple App Store altogether. Contact by a user with the company indicates text message functionality is hoped to be restored at a later date.
Tru App supports a range of calling methods: calls over wired or wireless internet on Windows, Mac and Linux. It supports calls over Wi-Fi, 3G and call-through, depending on the platform. Call-through is called Tru Anywhere, which uses the local minutes of the user to connect the call to a local Tru server. The BlackBerry application from Tru uses this method of calling only.
It has been suggested that internet-based communications could be used without fear of interception. Truphone maintains, however, that it is governed by and complies with the same 'lawful intercept' laws as every other telecommunications company.