VoIP, VoIP Everywhere

from the can't-avoid-it dept

Okay, VoIP is officially the hot topic of the season. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a story about deals and/or regulation concerning VoIP. Just days after Time Warner made deals with Sprint and MCI to provide internet telephony to customers, AT&T came along and announced major VoIP plans themselves. (Update: Also just announced: Qwest is offering VoIP as well.) Everyone seems to forget, of course, that BellSouth actually tried to offer VoIP for about a week a year ago and suddenly someone higher up freaked out and pulled the plug. While the big telcos claim they’re jumping on the VoIP bandwagon, there’s still going to be an internal struggle of cash cow vs. emerging technology. I’m not convinced that the telcos are prepared to cannibalize their own business yet. Meanwhile, a lot of what will happen still depends on what the folks at the FCC decide to do about VoIP. Jeff Pulver has written up his concerns about the FCC’s plans over at News.com. The piece is based on Reed Hundt’s talk at Pulver’s Wireless Summit. However, reading through it, it sounds as though it was written before the FCC’s hearing on VoIP where it was made clear that Michael Powell would prefer not to regulate VoIP. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but the battlefield is becoming clearer. The upstarts continue to build marketshare (and lower prices – Vonage is now offering deals as low as $15/month), the telcos are waking up to the challenge, and the government is trying to figure out what to do about it. Who knows how it will all turn out – but it looks like we’re going to have a lot more telephony choices in the near future.

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Comments on “VoIP, VoIP Everywhere”

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dorpus says:

MCI Math

For people who don’t have a high-speed net connection, voip makes no sense. So let’s see, consumers are supposed to “save” money if they:

1. buy an expensive high-speed net connection
2. buy the software, and make everyone else buy it too
3. have to have the computer on to make a call

Sounds like video telephony — the technology that’s always just 10 years away from mass market use.

alternatives says:

Re: Do you actually KNOW anything about VoIP?

voip makes no sense.


Companies already have:

1) Computers on the desk
2) Wire to the computers
3) Sound cards

Adding Open Source VoIP ($0 cost) software and a headset ($5 to $9.95 at Wal*Mart) turns the PC into a ‘telephone’.


Call logging
Call-database intergration
Call recording ‘for quality control’ (evidence)

The ‘make everyone else buy software’ also shows your total lack of knowledge. Using standards like H.323 and SIP means as long as you are standards compliant, the software can interoperate.

As opposed to “your solution” – a $300 phone that sits on the desk.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Re:2 MCI Math

That would be a change from the last time I heard of VoIP, when people had to buy specific software (shareware or retail), the software didn’t talk to each other, you had to get some 10 or 20-digit number, the voice quality was choppy or got the order of syllables mixed up.

What about the audio/video chat capabilities of software like MSN messenger? Does that count as VoIP, or is that considered something else?

Damon Hopkins says:

Re: MCI Math and VOIP

I work as a contractor installing VOIP services for our local cable customers. They don’t need anything other than a special cable modem, (which we provide), and a phone jack to tie into their existing lines. all the existing phones in the house still work and the only differences anyone has noticed is better sounding calls, due to the higher signal to noise ratio versus standard phone circuits. There is no need for “special software” or special phones or even a computer really (although it is a cable modem we are installing) I guess none of you have real experience w/ what good VOIP can do.

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