Vodafone Germany and Secusmart team up to offer Corporate Encrypted Voice Call App

Vodafone Germany and BlackBerry owned Secusmart have teamed up to offer an app allowing corporate users to make secure phone calls.

While Vodafone announced it was working on the app at last year’s CeBIT fair, on Wednesday it formally launched it for the German corporate market.

To work properly, both parties to a conversation need to have Vodafone’s encrypted voice call app—named Secure Call— installed.

The app runs on both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems. Vodafone plans a version for BlackBerry’s operating, but didn’t provide a launch date.

Voice calls are encrypted with an AES 128 bit key allowing for the secure conversation. Such a key would offer 3.4 x 10^38 possible combinations and would take 1,020,000,000,000,000,000 years to crack.

Using the app, voice calls are encrypted by an AES 128 bit key, making it “highly secure,” a Vodafone spokesman said. According to Vodafone, decrypting the call would take “several billion years.” There are no reasons to use a longer key, the Vodafone spokesman said, as there are currently no known scenarios for hacking phone calls encrypted with the 128 bit key.

For its encrypted call app, Deutsche Telekom uses an AES 258 bit key, which can’t be decrypted with existing computers, said Rüdiger Weis, professor of computer science at Beuth-Hochschule für Technik in Berlin, a technical university. A Deutsche Telekom spokeswoman said the company uses the best encryption standard, surpassing even recommendations made by the German Federal Office for Information Security.

The Deutsche Telekom app includes an option for encrypted texts, a feature that Vodafone says that it will add to its app. Both will work even when SIM cards from other carriers are employed, and both will encrypt calls over Wi-Fi.

The carrier charges the equivalent of $16.90 USD monthly for a single line license. Deutsche Telekom’s encryption app costs between $17 USD and $24 USD a month.