VoIP Prices Dropping Further And Further
from the looking-pretty-good dept
I still haven’t signed up for a Vonage-style VoIP service, but as the prices keep dropping, it’s getting increasingly difficult to resist. I have been playing with some of the various free offerings, though, like Skype and FWD. FWD (or a partner, it’s a little unclear) set up a system where you could connect your FWD number to a regular phone number (in Washington State) for free. So, now, if you call my particular area code 360 phone number, my computer will ring (or, if I set it up, my IP phone). All for free. It appears that all the various VoIP players are realizing there’s not much to distinguish one from another, and prices are dropping like crazy. The free services still limit what you can do, but it sounds like you can get a fairly full-featured pay service for around $20/month. For a while, I was surprised that the established telcos weren’t playing more heavily in this space (even as slow as they move), but now I’m guessing that part of their strategy is to just wait and let all the independent VoIP players battle each other to death. Then, in the end, the carriers will determine who the winners are, and either buy them up, or try to copy the service directly. Whether or not that plan will work is a different question altogether. In the meantime, many are still waiting to see if Washington DC throws a wrench in all of this by regulating VoIP players and requiring them to pay all sorts of fees that will get passed along via higher prices.