rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Fri Sep 2 08:04:42 EST 2005
SL, I must say, you always find the sort of news stories which press my
Let's see, we'll start with the apparent assumption that Vonage predates
softphones... it comes from "news to me" syndrome; the NYT's writer
hasn't seen this stuff before so it's !!! new !!!
> Companies like Vonage, using a technology called voice over Internet
> protocol, or VoIP, offer cheap long-distance rates and features not
> found with conventional phone service. Cable giants, too, are taking
> Internet phones to the masses.
> Now a subset of VoIP services, called PC-to-phone service, is gaining
> momentum .. One advantage of such services is the ability to make
> calls through an Internet-connected laptop when cellular service is
Softphones predate the Vonage model: VocalTec's Internet phone was
introduced ten years ago. In at least one way (see below) it was more
functional than Skype ...
> Another advantage is price. PC-to-phone VoIP rates are less expensive
> than conventional phone calls and in many cases cheaper than
> phone-to-phone VoIP services, which route calls through broadband
> modems to regular phones.
And in some cases, more expensive. A few months ago I handed a phone
bill to a new trainee price analyst and said "rerate this for VoIP". The
cheapest VoIP was cheaper than my Telstra bill, no surprises there. The
most expensive would have more than doubled my spend. Fixed to mobile
international is an interesting sidelight here: are you sure you can
identify, at sight, a mobile number in some other country? Because some
VoIP-to-mobile international prices *stink* and the careless user will
Let's ignore the other aspects of ignorance packed into this sentence ...
> PC-to-phone services available today from companies like Skype,
> SIPphone, i2Telecom and Dialpad Communications offer many features
> like free PC-to-PC calling,
Not, of course, unique to softphones but what's one small error in a
gushing torrent of cluelessness?
> conference calls, voice mail, choice of phone numbers,
..."choice of phone numbers" but not "portability of phone numbers"...
one of the regulatory battles I'm waiting for is when someone like the
ACCC says "number portability", the VoIP providers say "can't be done",
and the ACCC says "we heard that before in the LNP debate and in the MNP
debate, don't bother trying it again."
Well up to the usual standard of technology coverage in the popular press...
A quick prediction: today's VoIP business model doesn't have long to
live. The famous last words, "they can't compete with us!" will be
carved on the tombstone of yet-another-bubble.
> call forwarding and reduced long-distance rates, especially for
> international calls ..
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