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A step into the future of VoIP

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

As VoIP bloggers Andy, Dan, Garrett, Greg, Jon, Ken, Rich and Tom attend the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo to discover and discuss all the latest trends in the VoIP industry, I decided to blog about one such new trend: Mobile VoIP.

Apparently, in VoIP 2.0 (or will it be 3.0 by then?), making calls from your PC will seem so impractical as to be laughable. Mobile calls will increasingly be made seamlessly over WiFi-enabled handsets, taking advantage of endless new features while long-distance rates will plummet lower than Bush's approval ratings in the Middle East.

This scenario assumes, of course, that wireless Internet (WiFi) will soon be as widespread as cellular signals are today. We already have WiFi at the office, at home, libraries, coffee shops, and so on. San Francisco, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Toronto, and Fredericton are all deploying city-wide WiFi access, with more surely following their lead. This future may not be too far away.

And VoIP service providers are getting ready. Skype Mobile, Gizmo, Jajah Mobile, Rebtel, and Truphone have already begun marketing towards mobile phone users. With the right phone, you can already make very cheap calls or even free calls to other users within the same service. Calls to people outside your service will still be offered at low rates when compared to regular long-distance, but with the growing interoperability of VoIP providers, eventually a user of service A in California and a user of service B in Bombay could theoretically talk to each other using their mobile phones without paying a cent!

Now let's throw SIP into the mix. This open source protocol used by Vonage and Gizmo Project allows free communication between any two SIP-enabled devices, and cheap calls to non-SIP phones. And on the left we have the HOP1515, a SIP WiFi phone that's available for about $40. Can it get much cheaper than that?

Alas, for now, we shall wait until VoIP providers all connect to one another, and until WiFi hotspots outnumber coldspots. Now we must still contend with GSM, CDMA and GPRS, and phones locked into their respective service providers and 2-year minimum contracts. We will have to put up with the headaches and confusion of the current mess of choices in mobile voice.

So while waiting for everything to become clear, you have yet another choice. If you want to use VoIP 2.0 services alongside your current cellular service, you'll probably want to get a dual-mode phone, capable of both cellular and WiFi. You may be interested in the "Hippie 2000", as pictured. Many PDA phones are dual-mode as well. I guess they'll have to suffice.

There are those who may question the business sense in having the ability to make extremely cheap or free calls to anyone around the world. They will eventually open their eyes, lest their eyes be opened for them.


At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting…Worth mentioning for those no so keen in new technologies that in recent years, "10-10" long distance services have also been very popular as an easier alternative to enjoy cheap long distance calls. How it works? You simply dial the "10-10" plan's 7-digit access code, and then the area code and number you wish to call - and receive the discounted rates offered by the "10-10" company. This is an easy way to take advantage of lower rates - without having to sign-up, internet or switching your long distance company. The Internet is a great resource for finding the rates and numbers of "10-10" companies in your area.

For example, you can now call Australia, Canada and most European countries for only 1¢ per minute by simply calling 1010228 before each call (e.g. 1010228 + 011 + country code + number you wish to call). is one of the leading discount "10-10" number in the US for interstate and international calls

At 2:57 AM, Blogger veena said...

yes I do believe that new technologies have made long distance calls more cheaper,hassle free,quality rich with value added services…I m saying this because I have just started using voip service skype…by which I can speak to my family in india -banglore at just euro 0138...and it makes me feel closer to my family as i see them,have group chats thru video calls and conference calls....thanks to the new developing technolgies and obviously how can i forget skype.....thanks skype

At 4:41 PM, Blogger VoIPMan said...

yes Voice over IP definitely has saved everyone a lot of money. The market is very competitive and this has driven prices down. IT really is cutting edge technology. What do you think about WIMAX? I know that Metrobridge Networks, Valtech Communications, and Clearwire, have deployed networks in the US.

At 2:28 AM, Blogger anjali4india said...

Yes technology has played a great role in all the fields and telecommunication is no exception.I mean earlier it was difficult to think to make calls to my friends and relatives who are in US.But now i am calling them using VoIP services provided by VYKE.Its very cheap and as low as 4 cents PER CALL !! ya its per call not per minute.What else i can ask for?I am loving and enjoying it.Well lets see what else is ready for us to come in future?



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