Ina Fried

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T-Mobile Bobsleds Into IP Telephony Game With Facebook App

Although one might think that T-Mobile USA would be busy enough with the cellphone business and trying to get acquired by AT&T, the company has found time to get into the IP telephony business.

Today the company is announcing Bobsled, a free Facebook application that lets users make PC calls to their social network friends. And people don’t need to be T-Mobile cell phone customers to download or use Bobsled, which integrates with Facebook’s chat application.

“T-Mobile’s focus is to innovate to provide simple and affordable communications for customers, enabling people to stay connected wherever they are,” Senior VP Brad Duea said in a statement. “Bobsled by T-Mobile takes our communications services innovation to a whole new dimension, bringing simple and cost-effective connections to more than half a billion people overnight, allowing people on Facebook to more easily connect and giving voice to social networking.”

The initial release of Bobsled lets users call their Facebook friends as well as post voice messages on the walls of their buddies.

T-Mobile promised more to come, including video chat as well as calls to mobile and landline numbers. “Our new Bobsled brand will evolve in the coming months to provide even more ways for people to connect, no matter what platform, device or mobile provider they are using,” Duea said.

It will be interesting to see what AT&T does with Bobsled when and if its deal to buy T-Mobile USA goes through.

In its traditional business, T-Mobile USA plans on Wednesday to start selling the Sidekick 4G, G2x phone and G-Slate tablet.


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— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work