Mobile developers wave “goodbye” to metered minutes

Say Goodbye to Metered Minutes!!For the past 100 or so years, we have been paying for every minute spent on our phones. Metered minutes for voice have long been the standard for growth of telecoms the world over.

Early purveyors of VoIP (Voice over IP) promised great things and many have built respectable businesses. Still, we hang onto the networks of old (PSTN) which come with baggage and metered minutes remain.

We are in a “mobile first” world now, where mobile messenger applications reign supreme eg. WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat etc. For good or for bad, these new chat apps are forever changing the way we think of communications. The next generation expects a certain level of service that comes for free, and that will become the new norm.

This new “free mobile communication” mantra can come at a price for providers.

Traditional VoIP networks are primarily built using client-server methodologies, which means the calls (signalling at least) and text messages pass through a server. That server must be hosted somewhere and that data transfer cost must be accounted for, somehow. More and more chat apps are supporting Voice and Video calls, the overhead involved in providing for those features on the back end is not trivial.

If there were a way to provide these features without having the calls and messages go through a server, it should be much cheaper (or free) to deliver those features to the users. P2P (peer to peer) communication services allow providers to cut costs and deliver rich communication features more affordably. We know this to be true because we have built countless VoIP networks on traditional client-server technology and also with P2P technology, in this case Open Peer.

Keep in mind a P2P-centric network does not take into consideration interoperability with the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), so that I can call my mom and dad for instance.  From a smartphone users perspective, this is not much of a problem. Data / wifi networks are nearly boundless.  Just ask yourself “When was the last time you weren’t connected?” As a provider, the moment we bridge P2P with PSTN, we increase our costs enormously and lose all the rich features in the process.

Is there a way we get the benefits of P2P and still interoperate with the networks of yesterday?

If you want the real benefits that a Peer-to-Peer communications network will provide, you must get past the idea of interop with the PSTN. There are plenty of providers out there who refuse or simply cannot make the move to P2P due to their business model or the like and to you I say, “Very sorry for your troubles”.

The middle ground.

Leveraging P2P in your network where it makes sense (mobile) and using gateways to negotiate to the PSTN is certainly possible and we have helped network providers do just that. This helps them to prepare for an OTT (Over The Top) model that is more P2P centric and efficient while still servicing their customer of old.

When will metered minutes truly become a thing of the past? When the carriers wake up? God help us all.

If you are a modern mobile developer working on iOS or Android, you can say “goodbye” to metered minutes today.

Hookflash for Android – Improved RTC Video Support



We are always working hard to improve the tools we build for our developer partners and customers. Today we are happy to announce improved support for RTC (Real-time Communications) Video.

We’ve had video for a couple of weeks now but we held off on releasing it due to some lingering issues, until today. We have knocked down a few larger bugs (video and other aspects) in the last week and there are plenty more to come.  The Hookflash android reference app now has video calling capabilities as does the Hookflash / Open Peer android SDK.


Android reference app can be found here
iOS reference app can be found here

Developers sign up here

RTC (Real-time Communications) iOS SDK Update & Hookflash API Pricing

Open Peer - Mobile RTC ToolkitNew releases of Hookflash RTC (real-time communications) mobile toolkits for iOS and Android are now available.

For leading mobile developers, customers and partners; Hookflash mobile toolkits provide an easy, cost effective way to integrate a choice of real-time Text Messaging, High-Quality Voice and Video Chat directly into mobile applications, adding scalable, private, valuable communications functionality for customers and user communities.

“The Hookflash iOS Software Development Kit and accompanying sample app is a stable beta release ready for early customers to integrate into their own apps or to white label.” says Erik Lagerway, Co-founder at Hookflash. “Hookflash Cloud Service beta release is home to more than 275 developers from all across the globe, building interesting and exciting apps ranging from enterprise mobile to banking, gaming and medical applications. I am always excited to hear about how our technology is being leveraged in new ways, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!”

Hookflash Mobile Software Development Kits and the Hookflash Cloud Service API are available free of charge (see commercial pricing below) for development, testing and non-commercial purposes (no Credit Card required on signup). If you are a non-profit enterprise organization or recognized charity, contact us, we’d like to help you communicate better for free.

Commercial pricing for the Hookflash Cloud Service API is now also available. See Pricing for details.

Hookflash is setting a new standard in the world of telecommunications; offering API transactional pricing for Voice and Video traffic. Traditionally, until now, Voice and Video calls have been charged on a metered, per minute basis. The Hookflash pricing model provides what leading developers, service providers and enterprise customers expect and require from modern APIs.

At $0 .001 (1/10 of 1 cent) per API call Hookflash enables integrated high quality messaging, voice and video chat for developers and enterprise customers in a way that has not been available until now.

“Hookflash is doing for real-time communications what Amazon Web Services (AWS) has done for Cloud Services, metered minutes are a thing of the past, the future of Real-time Communications is in API services and pricing models that scale” explained Trent Johnsen, CEO.

A Hookflash reference app built on the Hookflash Mobile SDK, “Hookflash Messenger” integrated with Facebook as an example of directory and identity is available in the  iTunes App store here.

A Hookflash Android reference app will follow soon. The Hookflash Android RTC SDK is available now in early beta, with limited documentation.

The previous reference application, “Hookflash for iPad” with LinkedIn directory and identity features has been removed from the iTunes app store to make way for the latest iOS reference application.

Developer sign up:
Open Peer RTC iOS toolkit:
Open Peer RTC Android toolkit (early beta):
Developer documentation:

About: Hookflash powers a new generation of integrated, Open, Over-the-Top, Internet messaging, voice and video chat for Mobile and the Web with the new standard for secure signalling and identity; Open Peer.

For additional information please visit Follow us on Twitter: @Hookflash.

1-855-Hookflash (466-5352)  or “”.

Watch This: @RobinRaymond builds federated video chat at jQuery Conference Portland on stage!

This is a great visualization of how WebRTC actually functions today.  Robin shows the message flows in a terminal, the source used, very cool! He also touches on all the bits outside of WebRTC that are needed for a secure, ubiquitous and mobile friendly user experience.

The Q&A at the end of the presentation are worth listening to as well.

The demo code used:


Rolodex for Identities Mgt:

Rolodex Presence – Plug-in:

Launched: Hookflash for iPad | Now in the iTunes App Store

It’s a big day @Hookflash. Today we launched Hookflash for iPad in the iTunes app store, download it here –

A word from our CEO, Trent Johnsen

“We’ve essentially turned the iPad into the world’s best business phone with a directory of over a 160 million professionals on a free global digital network. “This changes everything” has to be my favorite customer reaction to Hookflash so far”

More coverage on GigaOM