Deutsche Telekom invests in VoIP firm

Deutsche Telekom, the parent of T-Mobile, has invested in Jajah, an upstart firm that lets customers bypass long-distance fees by connecting their calls over the Internet, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the venture funding arm of Deutsche Telekom joined computer-chip maker Intel in leading an investment round totaling $20 million. Intel's participation was announced earlier this month. The specific amount invested by each participant in the round was not revealed.

Founded in Austria in 2005, Jajah has emerged as the third model of VoIP, the report said.

Other VoIP businesses, like eBay 's Skype service and Vonage Holdings, generally don't involve the user's wired or wireless phone, relying on a broadband connection to carry the call to the outside world.

'We see ourselves as a carrier-friendly company,' Jajah CEO Trevor Healy was quoted as saying.

In contrast to Skype and Vonage-type applications, the existence of Jajah encourages people to keep their fixed lines, he said.

In addition, Jajah pays carriers to terminate calls on their networks, the Associated Press report also said.

When Jajah is used with mobile phones, the carrier may miss long-distance fees, but at least the user is consuming mobile phone minutes.

For a carrier, 'the best company to invest in is one that doesn't attack their fixed-line business,' Healy said.

As part of the investment deal, Jajah will pay reduced fees to connect calls to Deutsche Telekom subscribers, the report further said.