But Wait, People Say VoIP Quality Is Getting Better...

from the oh-look-at-that dept

A few months ago, a firm that has a "Test Your VoIP quality" site put out a report claiming that VoIP quality was getting worse and worse and the explanation must be that the internet was way too congested. Plenty of people jumped on this as a perfect example of why telcos should be allowed to set up special toll lanes for things like VoIP to avoid that congestion. Of course, there were an awful lot of problems with the study (as many in our comments noted), and nothing that suggested that it actually was congestion that was the problem. Still, though, we keep seeing people use this as the basis of an argument that the internet is collapsing. Of course, it appears not everyone agrees. Harris Interactive and Keynote Systems (who has criticized VoIP in the past) have a new study out, claiming that quality and satisfaction for VoIP have "dramatically improved." It's actually improved so much that it outranks that of landline phones. Now, obviously, we shouldn't trust this as the final word in VoIP quality either, but it certainly suggests that perhaps the internet isn't collapsing under its own weight just yet.

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  • identicon
    relativismstinks, 22 Sep 2006 @ 2:41pm

    voip quality

    no atter t ooooooooo say, voice mmmmmver ip will not fly in my book because the tech gy is shshhshshhshshhshhshhshs ing ckckckckckckckckckckckckckckc.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2006 @ 3:53pm

    VOIP is a thousand times better than cell phones where calls are dropped like the leaves in the autumn...yet we are stupid enough to pay big money for it..... Voip, especially Skype rule... and will bankrupt the old telcos and cell phones in the next 10 years as Wifi and Wimax becomes available everywhere... If your community/city had free wifi everywhere and you could walk around with a wifi phone that acts like your home and cell phone, BUT for free....what would you use? Hey, you can even take it with you on holidays and call friend and family from anywhere in the world for free.... You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is headed.

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

    • identicon
      zeroJJ, 24 Sep 2006 @ 12:27am

      Re: bankrupting telcos?

      In an untouched market voip would bankrupt the big telco, but sadly, they are massaging the lower extremities of congress right now to keep that evildoer "net neutrality" out of the picture, enforcing outdated business models...

      The big carriers will stick around for a while - long enough to suck a few more folks dry..

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

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 22 Sep 2006 @ 4:28pm

    Yeah I see...


    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is headed.


    Yeah its headed right to telco lobbyists paying as much money as possible to government officials to insure their monopolies...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2006 @ 5:20pm

    I hate calling people using VOIP phones. There always seems to be delayed feedback which is very disconcerting. In my admittedly limited experience, it doesn't come anywhere near the quality of landlines.

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

  • identicon
    Steve E, 22 Sep 2006 @ 5:58pm

    VOIP is getting more and more popular in the UK. Skype have been talking to travel companies here and theres talk of travel agents working at home using the web and Skype to take bookings. And at least one major travel company is looking at putting Skype into their call centre too. So it can't all be bad...

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

  • identicon
    AKHarleyGirl, 22 Sep 2006 @ 6:38pm

    VOIP

    So VOIP has problems what technology doesn’t. Even with the latency it is still better and less expensive than teleconferencing. I am holding out for it improving.

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

  • identicon
    Matthew Seckora, 22 Sep 2006 @ 6:47pm

    VOIP

    VOIP is great it supports cable companies plus for 25.00 a month from Vonage and others you get unlimited local and long distance.

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

    • identicon
      Trimtab, 22 Sep 2006 @ 8:21pm

      Re: VOIP

      Only the naive or stupid pay a monthly fee to Vonage for VOIP. Vonage is a rip off when you can get a landline number for $3 per month or even free connected to your SIP phone and only pay for outbound calls when you call regular phones for a penny per minute.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2006 @ 9:40pm

        Re: Re: VOIP

        You are missing the point of paying for a VOIP service like vonage, and actually I suspect you've never used it. I've been a Vonage user for over a year, not only is the service excellent, but the support on the very few cases that I've needed it is great. Paid VOIP is for people that want to replace their regular landlines altogether, not everyone is a geek that is in front of their computer all day.

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

  • identicon
    vik, 22 Sep 2006 @ 8:29pm

    VOIP

    VOIP is indespensable now. and the quality is not that bad.
    Most major companies are using VOIPs to connect their branches across the world. Most call support goes through VOIP at some point.
    Its not only cheaper, but the difference in quality with celphones and telcos are not that big.
    As long as you have fast internet, its worth to go ahead and use VOIP.

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

  • identicon
    Krum, 22 Sep 2006 @ 9:07pm

    Dropped Calls

    Then there's the convergence handsets being used in Europe that "hands-off" between Wi-Fi(UMA) and existing cellsites. If you're in an area with muni-WiFi, dropped calls would become a thing of the past. Hopefully the tel-cos here in the States won't lobby the Government enough to put the brakes on Skype-type services or UMA.

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

  • identicon
    Tashi, 23 Sep 2006 @ 12:20pm

    I have VOIP and it works great. The only time I have problems is when I'm talking during simultaneous downloading like with bittorrent. Otherwise the quality is excellent.

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

    • identicon
      zeroJJ, 24 Sep 2006 @ 12:24am

      Re: you can have your cake and eat it to

      If your connection is actually stable, then there is a great chance that a decent QoS-capable router will solve your problems... For $50 you can turn a Linksys WRT54G into a real router with third party firmware (see dd-wrt.com)

      I know lots of folks that have dumped the wire telcos long ago and have crystal clear phone service.

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

  • identicon
    Tin Ear, 23 Sep 2006 @ 12:39pm

    I'm all for it...

    As a long time Skype user, I would have to say that I am well satisfied with the call quality. My only issue is concerning the 'last mile' in my connection. I am on a home network and the cable modem has a very annoying tendency to drop offline. Nothing seems to cause the failure, it just gets it into it's limited brain to shut off. I have tried to get the landlord to replace the modem (free replacement), but so far no action has been taken... Other than that, I love my Skype!

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

  • identicon
    zeroJJ, 24 Sep 2006 @ 12:25am

    Philippines is the New India...

    - most can speak near perfect English
    - they have an abundance of highly-trained, unemployed college grads
    - stong work ethics (quite unlike most Gulf Arabs and Americans)
    - they are rolling out DSL at a reasonable price - you can get it in some boondocks
    - and they dont block voip

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

  • identicon
    SMB, 25 Sep 2006 @ 6:16am

    I have Vonage, but I'm certainly no apologist. However, the voice quality is perfectly fine. To my ear, it is indistinguishable from a traditional phone line. My biggest complaint would be that there are too many points of failure. A call or two a day gets sent directly to voicemail, evidently because a connection could not be made to my house to route the call, but it is impossible to tell if it is Vonage, Comcast, or Little Green Aliens causing the problem. You can't really trust any of them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2006 @ 6:41am

    VoIP will bankrupt the telco's? Who do you think owns the broadband connection? Sure as hell isn't Vonage.

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

  • identicon
    theodus7, 25 Sep 2006 @ 11:06am

    then comes IMS

    So the cable companies and telcos are all currently imagineering a world where everything is "IMS aware" meaning a SIP request is generated for everything you might care to do. Right now there are real products in real networks that can be used to actively limit (rate shape) your VoIP calls using blanket p2p policies. Look at packeteer, camiant and cisco SCE product for examples of what is possible.

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


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