Internet phone service blossoms / But it still may not be ready for the masses This article in the San Francisco Chronicle provides a nice overview of some of the trade-offs involved with using an IP telephony provider like Vonage or 8×8 instead of a traditional voice service provider, like SBC. Though I fit the… Read More »
When I first read at work about the free Zultys IP Soft phone for Linux (in Internet Telephony?), I decided I needed to check it out. Then when I saw another mention of it in Voxilla’s RSS feed while I was sitting at my Linux box tonight, I decided it was time to give it a try. If I can get a SIP-based soft phone running on Linux, I will be a lot less interested in trying to figure out how to get Skype running on Linux.
The staff over at Voxilla have put together a compelling set of predictions for big VoIP-related happenings in 2004. Here are a couple I found most interesting.
2. Many new VoIP enabled routers hit the market.
I think this will be a huge boon to Skype’s competitors. If more routers came with out-of-the-box configurations for VoIP, that would take away Skype’s only serious advantage.
9. Broadband service providers up their uplink speeds.
I can only hope. I would gladly pay more to get a boost to my average 500 kbps download speed, but my broadband provider, Earthlink (via Covad), has a big gap in price between the plan I have and the cheapest SOHO plan. Even worse, when I check the Earthlink site to see if I can upgrade to that plan, it tells me that they offer only dial-up access to my address. Never mind the fact that they have provided me with DSL service for years. As much as I dislike SBC, their prices look pretty good and their wide variety of offers blow Earthlink away.
10. FCC steps in on regulation.
Maybe I will be proven to be a fool, but I’m not quite as worried about this as most people. Regulation isn’t all bad. If one of my neighbors develops a new kind of death ray device that doesn’t use the old fashioned death rays that the Regional Death Ray Operating Companies have been relying on for years, I’m going to want to see some regulation imposed. Just don’t go crazy on me and ban all kinds of Death Ray research and development or make it where only the big guys can compete.
In the comments section, someone added:
11. VoIP Spam
This is so sad, but so true. As other commenters also point out, super cheap international calling rates will open us up to unregulated telemarketing calls from locations where English-speaking labor is cheap. Like North Dakota. Wait, they’re still regulated. Okay, then, India, Jamaica, and the Philippines. The Do-Not-Call list. Hmmm, maybe that regulation thing isn’t so bad in every case. The most important feature you’re going to need on your VoIP phone is an effective form of Caller ID.
Voxilla is a great source for info on new developments related to VoIP, SIP, and other relatively new communication related technologies. Jeff Pulver from Free World Dialup and Ravi Sakaria, CEO of VoicePulse, even have their own forums where they answer questions. One of the areas generating controversy on the website involves the Skype hype.… Read More »
I got to try out Skype tonight on a random call with someone in Vermont. I was definitely impressed with the sound quality of the call. She said that either she or a friend had used Skype to talk to someone in Israel, and the sound quality was pretty good for that call, too. I… Read More »
The people behind Kazaa and Joltid have taken their P2P expertise to the telephony world with Skype, a P2P telephony application. One of the biggest problems with IP telephony for home users is that most endpoint protocols, e.g. H.323 and SIP, require that you open ports in your firewall, assuming the home user is smart… Read More »