The VoIP Service Blog

Compare and review IP Telephony & VoIP providers. News on the latest technology, from mobile Internet to IPTV.

The Skype outage explained, and public perception of VoIP services

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So last week as we exchanged holiday greetings, the most popular free calling service, Skype, became overloaded and inaccessible for nearly 24 hours. Although it was only a minor inconvenience for most of us, for others it is the primary way of making free international calls between family members. Others still rely on Skype for business communications, teleconferencing, and other critical uses.

To their credit, Skype's PR team was up front and honest about the downtime, making frequent status updates on their blog and via Twitter. They apologized and offered $1 credit to all users. They even detailed what went wrong and what they plan to do so it doesn't happen again.

How does this affect public perception of VoIP as we enter 2011? VoIP skeptics will undoubtedly point to this as an excuse to keep their distance from services like Vonage and Google Voice. However, even for the die-hard VoIP believers, it serves as an important lesson to always have backup forms of communication, including a second or third VoIP client, as well as land-lines and mobile phones.

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Carriers testing Mobile VoIP on their networks

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good news from GigaOM: mobile phone companies Verizon, Clearwire and Telefonica O2 (and hopefully others to follow soon) are beginning to roll out VoIP services over their networks. This is a clear break from their previous stance of overcharging for long distance phone calls, and seeing VoIP as a threat to their profits. This is not to say that they will allow Skype, Vonage or other 3rd party VoIP providers, but more likely that they would each implement their own branded in-house VoIP networks.

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SIPdroid: True mobile VoIP calls from your Android phone

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SIPdroid for AndroidFrustrated with a lack of real voice over IP services on your Android phone? Until now, the only VoIP apps for Android have used your standard calling minutes. That goes for Voxofon, Truphone, Skype, and iSkoot. (any others?) Now, when you download SIPdroid from the Android Market, you can finally make calls using your phone's WiFi connection. (And if you download the full version from the SIPdroid website, you can even make calls over 3G!)

To use SIPdroid, you must have an account with any SIP provider, like Gizmo5 for example.

Because SIPdroid was released by i-p-tel GmbH, and is currently in public beta testing, it works best when used in conjunction with i-p-tel's free service PBXes. Apparently, this is the route you must take if you use any of the popular Betamax services such as VoipBuster, VoipCheap, InternetCalls, VoipStunt, SIPdiscount and others.

The SIPdroid Wiki currently lacks instructions for newbies, but jashsu from the xda-developers forum has a detailed SIPdroid primer and Christophe from the SmartPhoneFrance Wiki has posted step-by-step instructions on making it work using PBXes.

Call quality was a bit quieter than standard calls, with a slight delay, but this will vary depending on your SIP provider. Overall it's very usable. A DID number is handy for receiving incoming calls.

Geek trick: call your own phone number from SIPdroid. Answer the incoming call and be amused as you listen to your voice echoing over and over!

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Freebuzzer callback service from Voipax

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today, I received a lengthy advertorial in my inbox about a VoIP service called Freebuzzer, offered by Voipax GmbH.  I'll save you the fluff and quote just the relevant bit:
All you need to make free calls on your PC is your computer and your internet connection. Then start enjoying free international phone calls immediately by going to and entering both phone numbers. Freebuzzer will then call both parties and connect them totally free of charge.

Freebuzzer offers free phone calls to more than 40 countries in the world. The amount of calls is limited, but it's still a good way to make a quick call to your friends and family all over the world.
They aren't clear about the limitations, so try at your own risk.  This will also use up incoming minutes, so it's not totally free if you get charged for those.  Anyway, if you do check it out, be sure to leave a comment and let everyone know how satisfied you were with their service!

UPDATE:  Seems calls are limited to 2 minutes each.  Does anyone know if that's accurate?  If so, that pretty much kills any appeal this service may have had.

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Voxofon on the G1's Android OS

Friday, December 12, 2008

Voxofon claims to be the first to offer VoIP on Google's new mobile operating system, Android. The app seems to integrate into the dialer, displaying an extra screen after you've chosen your contact:

- Call via Local Number
- Callback My Mobile
- Callback Other Phone
- Direct Call

The callback services are handy to avoid using your cellular minutes, but don't most G1 owners have unlimited talktime already?

Anyway, it's super cheap, from 1.3 cents per minute for international calls and you're not tethered to a PC. If you use Voxofon, be sure to leave a comment and let us know how their service ranks.

Here's a quick demo of Voxofon's Android VoIP app:

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Nintendo DS hack for SIP VoIP service via WiFi

Friday, September 14, 2007

SvSIPThis January, I began a list of VoIP services for the Nintendo DS, which we know contains a WiFi connection and a microphone headset.

At that time, none of the solutions included support for the popular open SIP protocol. Now, a French developer has released an early version of SvSIP, which lets you make phone calls using your homebrew-enabled DS and a SIP provider. He seems to be actively updating it, and we should see some new versions available soon on his website.

To complete the list, another French developer has been working on DSiP, a rival alpha VoIP client for the DS. The author seems to no longer have time to work on it, but promises to release a working version.

UPDATE 9/19/07: Watch the how-to video if you'd like to see SvSIP in action, courtesy of, the stack upon which SvSIP was ported from:

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Jajah or Nonoh? Review the race to the bottom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Upstart VoIP service nonoh thinks it can save you more money than its predecessor, jajah. Both are phone-to-phone services, which means you just initiate the call on their website, and the service calls both parties and connects them to each other at lower rates than the regular phone companies. This comes in handy mostly for international calls, especially for those countries in which there is a telecom monopoly with outrageous long distance fees.

points out that the service was developed by Betamax, and that there are some amazing deals to certain countries.

For example, you can make free calls to China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Even South Korea and Turkey made the list of free destinations.

Vinay adds:

Nonoh bluntly says we offer better rates than Jajah and well they seriously do. Who on earth gives free calls to countries like Brazil, Japan and Malaysia? I have some countries which can't even dream to be in the free VOIP country list. NoNoh has simply cracked the market with this FREE VOIP calling service
Over at Computerwoche (German) they remind us that nonoh only allows 5 hours of talk time per week, and your credit expires after 120 days.

This 120 day credit expiration limit seems to be a trademark of Betamax, so that you will continue to pay $10 every four months in order to keep making free calls.

Full rates table at

Have you tried it? What did you think?

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