It's a sad day for Bobsled's one-eyed chat bubble monster, as T-Mobile has just announced it's temporarily shuttering the recently launched VoIP service. A statement released on Bobsled's Facebook profile revealed it is "voluntarily and temporarily suspending service" of its week-old app to "ensure that the Bobsled experience is clearly differentiated and is not mistaken for a Facebook created property." The news comes at a particularly inopportune moment, as Vivox just made its own announcement (embedded after the break) last Wednesday saying it will power the seemingly ill-fated app. No word yet on when the service will be back up and running, but this doesn't bode well for T-Mo's foray into the VoIP market.

[Thanks, Elad]

Update: We just received word from Vivox saying its announcement was actually released last Wednesday. In any case, it's safe to say the news is still a downer for the magenta monster.
Show full PR text
Vivox Powers Voice Chat on Facebook for Bobsled by T-Mobile
Posted: 25-Apr-2011 [Source: Vivox]

[The Vivox VoiceEverywhere Service to power the Bobsled app by T-Mobile for Faceboo. Bobsled offers free, one-touch calling between Facebook friends using the Facebook chat window.]

Natick, MA -- Vivox, Inc. (www.vivox.com), the number one integrated voice platform for the Social Web, announced a partnership with T-Mobile USA, Inc. Vivox's VoiceEverywhere Service will be powering the Bobsled application for Facebook calling as part of the new Bobsled by T-Mobile brand. The Bobsled application for Facebook is the world's first free, one-touch Facebook calling application.

The Vivox-powered Bobsled application for Facebook provides Facebook's more than 500 million users worldwide with free, one-touch calling to their Facebook friends from a personal computer and through the social platform's chat window. T-Mobile and Vivox are giving voice to social networking, taking Internet communications to a new level and bringing voice chat to more than half a billion people overnight. With Vivox's "instant on" technology, no application download is required to receive a call via the Bobsled Facebook application. Bobsled by T-Mobile users can even record and post voice messages to their friends' Facebook wall.

"Integrated voice on Facebook is a critical part of our roadmap for Bobsled by T-Mobile and Vivox is the clear leader in this area," said Brad Duea, senior vice president, T-Mobile USA. "Vivox is a talented and innovative company, and we look forward to a successful partnership with Vivox."

Vivox serves more than 50 million users worldwide and delivers more than 3 billion voice minutes per month through its integrations into social applications, online and console games and virtual worlds. With over 30 live customer integrations, Vivox has proven that they are committed to providing the best voice quality across all connected experiences. Vivox works in conjunction with its partners to deliver flexible HD voice solutions that are built seamlessly into applications, like the Bobsled application for Facebook, and delivered to consumers, regardless platform or device.

Together, T-Mobile and Vivox are ushering in the next generation of communications, bringing life to new capabilities to fulfill the idea that people should be able to communicate with whomever, whenever, and wherever they may be. VoiceEverywhere has the ability to create seamlessly integrated experiences on many popular connected devices, including: PC, MAC, PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, and more. Additionally, VoiceEverywhere makes communicating between these platforms simple. Vivox and T-Mobile plan to evolve the Bobsled application for Facebook and Vivox's VoiceEverywhere platform over time with additional features including video chat.

"As communications moves beyond networks, devices and online activities, Vivox's focus is to provide simple and ubiquitous cross-platform communications for consumers, enabling people to stay connected wherever they are, regardless of platform or device," said Rob Seaver, CEO of Vivox. "Our agreement with T-Mobile is a significant step forward in the convergence of communications. We believe this momentum will continue as Vivox VoiceEverywhere will be instrumental in bringing seamlessly integrated communications to the masses."