Vodafone Venturing into Mobile Call Encryption

Vodafone often resembles a cellular phone name from nearly a decade ago, way before smartphones came into existence. It is a brand that has seemed to die off quite a bit over the years, even though it has made efforts to keep up with the changing trends. The bigger players back then took prominence when the smartphone industry lit up and new players like BlackBerry gained immediate attention for their targeted product.

However, the company has been putting up an impressive fight and has seen great growth over the last five plus years. The company sold its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless just last year; the market is anticipating a direct focus on their business moving forward.


Photo: Wikimedia

Recently, it has become noticeable that the company is starting to gain some momentum with their customer-grabbing product benefits. An example of this is a deal that’s in the works, which if cemented will mean that Vodafone users will be able to stream Netflix for free on their smartphone.

Meanwhile, Vodafone is also making tremendous strides in the corporate world. The most recent exemplary addition to their corporate line-up is their Secure Call app. This is an app that serves one purpose – quick and easy mobile call encryption.

This is just one of many security products that are expected to roll out for Vodafone users. European businesses are pressuring mobile companies to introduce higher levels of mobile security. This has resulted in Vodafone presenting many different ideas. The Secure Call app was introduced by the Vodafone Germany branch, but if it takes off it will surely end up releasing all across the globe.

What Secure Call Entails

Secure Call is simply an app that allows its users to encrypt their voice calls on their Vodafone smartphone. It is expected to run about €10 a month. While many are not a fan of the subscription charge, it is a miniscule fee in comparison to the Merkel phone, which offers encryption as well but has a price tag of €2,000.

At that rate, Secure Call would be the way to go unless you plan to use this feature for the next 200 years. Of course, it’s not fair to say that competitors won’t release a similar product – at what may also be a more affordable rate. Deutsche Telekom, the number one competitor to Vodafone Germany, has plans to introduce a mobile call and SMS encryption service as well.

Also, this app is not limited to Vodafone smartphone users – any of the leading smartphone devices will be able to download and use this app at €10 a month. Keep in mind that this rate may also be adjusted once the app makes its way to all the major app stores.

How Secure is Secure Call?

Vodafone’s Secure Call was designed in partnership with Secursmart. The goal was to produce an application that can encrypt calls to the highest level possible – think the safety level of a government official’s phone. It’s claimed to be so effective that it will not only be as safe as a government official’s phone, but it will be protected from monitoring through wire-tapping and other common spying methods.

It is unclear at the moment as to whether or not the Secure Call app will also cover SMS messaging encryption. One can expect that even if it is not released with this feature, which some time down the road it will come into play. As its leading German competitor plans to launch a product with SMS encryption on top of mobile call encryption, there will certainly be pressure to make the addition.

Devices That Will Work with Secure Call

At the moment, the only information that available is that Secure Call supports all leading smartphone devices. This includes smartphones that are running an Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating system. This covers practically every smartphone on the market, so you should have no problem taking advantage of this app once it releases.

Much of the information came available after the app was showed off at a CeBIT trade show, which also applies for the competitor’s product. The CeBIT trade show included many different developmental products that circled around the entire NSA snooping and Edward Snowden situation. This is something that can’t continue to be ignored, considering the NSA records approximately five billion cell phone locations every single day.

At the same show, Vodafone extended their Secure SIM service to a more in-depth version. This service was designed for both enterprises and authorities. Its main purpose is to sign and encrypt VPN connections, emails, and documents. However, it also provides encryption for external storage devices. Even more impressive, the Secure SIM service can be utilized on ThinkPad’s that operate on Windows 8 and select Lenovo tablets.

Ultimately, for the call encryption service, it will likely come down to who launches their product first. It seems that Vodafone has the head start as it’s nearly ready to release the Secure Call app in all the major app stores.