Failures

by Mike Masnick




Get The Hint Yet? Long Distance Isn't Worth Squat

from the going-nowhere-fast dept

Okay, for those who missed the first two memos, it should be clear right now that the long distance telco business is not the business to be in right now. First AT&T, and then Sprint made it clear that traditional residential long distance was a big time loser, and now MCI (who was supposed to have all that post-bankruptcy no-more-debt-here ability to rise above everything) is writing down $3.5 billion in assets thanks to trouble all over the place. Now, the question for all three, is figuring out what business they're really in -- and doing it before more trouble sets in. Both AT&T and Sprint seem to be placing bets, but it's not entirely clear where MCI's future lies.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 19 Oct 2004 @ 1:33am

    Still

    Land lines do offer better sound quality than cell phones or VoIP, and that is necessary for important phone calls. And land lines still offer better rates on international calls; cell phones charge ridiculous rates, e.g. $1.25 per minute. Having a net-based conversation internationally, the audio quality is hopeless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      pancho, 19 Oct 2004 @ 7:33pm

      Re: Still

      you obviously have not used Skype. Try it. I make dozens of international calls daily and quality is certainly adequate for business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jeremy, 19 Oct 2004 @ 11:46pm

      Re: Still

      I make regular VOIP calls from Japan back home to the UK, a traceroute reveals that the connection goes via the US (the long way round the world) and it is still comparable to landline connections.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        mark, 14 Apr 2005 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Still

        I am moving to Japan in July. I need a cheap way for me to call back to America and for me to call America. I want to use Lingo, www.lingo.com and bring the VoIP adaptor with me. I can get a US phone number that everyone can make local calls to or use their cell phone with free long distance. Has anyone tried this?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John, 20 Oct 2004 @ 1:32am

      Re: Still

      Er... international calls are much cheaper via VoIP, and the quality is just as good -- sometimes better than traditional landlines.

      The only downside right now is reliability, but the argument that VoIP can't do international calls is totally clueless. What VoIP system were you using?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpus, 20 Oct 2004 @ 9:11am

        Re: Still

        Fact is, Japanese versions of software behave quite differently from the US version -- the menus are often all different. I've tried guiding computer-illiterate people over the phone, to get them to do the right commands, but if everything is written in a foreign language and the menus are put together differently, it's hopeless. If you force U.S. software to be installed on a foreign-language windows machine, it may destroy the machine permanently -- I speak from experience. Re-installing the OS still won't fix it. If you want to talk over the computer, you still have to coordinate getting the other person to turn on their machine, so it requires a phone call anyway. I've had msn messenger-based conversations, and netmeeting-based video conversations, but the quality was awful, and I'm not about to ask the other person to invest in software that may destroy their machine, and they may not know how to install it anyway.





        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          John, 20 Oct 2004 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Still

          Okay, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. While there are softphones for VoIP, most business users are using regular phones on a VoIP network. That's what we're talking about. Are you living in 1996 or something?

          We're not talking about MSN voice or netmeeting voice. We're talking about dedicated VoIP systems like Vonage or even (on the software side) skype.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            dorpus, 20 Oct 2004 @ 8:31pm

            Re: Still

            >Okay, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. While there are softphones for VoIP, most business users are using regular phones on a VoIP network. That's what we're talking about.< br>
            And I'm talking about using VoIP at home. Japanese phone lines use different carrier signals, so American telephones don't work. What VoIP is there that is guaranteed to run on a machine running Japanese Windows Millenium (not XP, not English) over a Japanese DSL?

            >We're not talking about MSN voice or netmeeting voice. We're talking about dedicated VoIP systems like Vonage or even (on the software side) skype.

            Exactly, do these things work on the configuration above? Is there a guarantee that it will not destroy the machine, as other software installs have? What is the cost effectiveness of having to call home first via POTS and waiting five minutes for them to boot up their machine? Both of us would have to buy upgraded microphones as well, which do not echo from the speakers. That was a severe problem when using MSN voice, and I the physics for VoIP are the same. If both of us have to pay for skype/Vonage and a new microphone, which may echo anyway, then it is not worth it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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