I’m a bit late on the draw on this one, but last month Fongo made a bid to acquire recent mobile entrant WIND Mobile for $1 plus 49% equity in Fongo. It’s hard to say whether this was a serious offer, or whether Fongo was posturing for publicity. Nonetheless the offer was quickly rebuked by WIND, with their Chief Regulator Officer countering with an offer to buy Fongo for “…$1 plus half of his sandwich…”.
I’ve written quite a bit about Fongo over the past two years, as it is at the forefront of the Canadian market insofar as the convergence of VoIP over mobile data is concerned. I’m also a believer in the software and an active user of it. They produce apps for Android and iOS, and they also provide a home phone adapter so you can continue using your regular home phone over your Internet connection, instead of the more costly options available through the traditional phone company.
Fongo states that their goal is to ultimately become or partner with a national mobile data carrier to become a “4th option” to the big incumbent national carriers. Their stated target is to offer a voice and data plan for $15/mo by the end of 2013.
The irony is that we’re already there. I have blogged extensively about how you can ditch the voice aspect of your Canadian mobile phone plan by opting for one of the many inexpensive tablet or iPad (data-only) plans currently available, side-stepping their traditional voice network by using a VoIP app such as Fongo (or Skype, or TextPlus, or another option). Data-only plans start at just $5/mo with some of the big-three. Couple this with Fongo’s free services, and you have a mobile phone plan for just $5/mo if you’re a super-light user. $15/mo is more realistic for regular voice users though.
Ultimately our mobile phone carriers will morph into pure wireless Internet providers, since voice is just another service that is carried over Internet Protocol. It takes a company like Fongo to disrupt the market and force those changes though, because our big three carriers know that once they lose the ability to bill for voice and its myriad of options and surcharges, they’ll lose a huge part of their revenue.