It's all happening for BlackBerry owners right now. BlackBerry 10 is coming at the end of January, but in the meantime how about a bit of BBM Voice action via Wi-Fi?
That's right – RIM has issued an update to BlackBerry Messenger that enables it to handle voice calls to other BlackBerry users over a standard Wi-Fi connection.
OK, we know that's hardly a revolutionary new feature in the broader mobile context, but it's a useful addition to what is probably the best-known and most highly rated BlackBerry service in play today.
BBM Voice sits seamlessly within the existing BBM feature set and interface. On installing the update you'll now see BBM will display each user's status to show whether they're available for a voice call or not.
The service allows you to instantly switch between text and talk, and if you use the speakerphone you can reduce the BBM interface to part of a split-screen, and use the rest of the screen as normal i.e. to browse the web or tap out messages etc.
Wi-Fi calling might not be a game-changer in the UK, but it could make a serious difference in developing markets where the cost of long-distance voice calls remains prohibitive.
BBM Voice is included in the latest BBM 7 update, which is available to anyone running BlackBerry 6 OS or newer (BB5 support will follow, we're told). For now it's still only available via the BlackBerry Beta Zone, and you'll need to register before you can download it, but it's a simple process and free too, so that shouldn't hold you back.