Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Warner Music and Skype do deal on VoIP ringtones

VoIP provider Skype has struck a deal with Warner Music Group to supply ringtones to its customers.
The latter company, part of the huge Time Warner content empire, will allow Skype users to download ringtones based on original recordings from artists such as Mike Jones, Green Day, Paul Wall and many others.

The tunes will be sold through Skype's own internet
shopfront, which will play host to Warner Music singer Madonna as the sole featured artist at launch.

Monday, January 30, 2006

EarthLink offers new VoIP service

Broadband provider EarthLink has begun selling a new Internet phone service that's designed to be easy to use and require no additional hardware.

The company has partnered with broadband access wholesaler Covad Communications to offer the voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, service in Dallas, Seattle and the San Francisco-San Jose area starting this week. EarthLink is bundling the new service with DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband access. More cities in Covad's territory will offer the service later this year; EarthLink would not specify which.

Unlike other VoIP services, including the one Earthlink currently sells for $20 a month, the new service doesn't require consumers to add hardware. Customers can use their existing phones and plug them into phone jacks as they would with any regular telephone service. The technology, called "line-powered voice," puts all the intelligence and equipment for offering VoIP service in Covad's central office, where all the gear to provide the DSL service is housed.

This approach differs from that of most other VoIP services, such as Vonage's. Those services require a special adapter to be hooked to the phone and the broadband connection.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Vonage(R) Launches Virtual Numbers Across Western Europe

For our friends who want Voice Over IP in Europe...

HOLMDEL, N.J., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Vonage Marketing, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp., a leading provider of broadband phone service, today announced the availability of Virtual Numbers with area codes from Austria, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain. European friends, family and business associates residing and working within these nations can now call U.S.-based Vonage customers for the price of a local call.

Vonage Virtual Phone Numbers are inexpensive secondary numbers that ring to your primary Vonage line. These numbers are available to Vonage subscribersin the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for $9.99 USD, $11.99 CAD and pounds Sterling 5.99 GBP per month respectively. These numbers receive incoming calls only. U.S.-based customers can select Western European numbers, allowing their friends, family and business associates the ability to dial them locally.

"Whether you live in Vienna, Dublin, Paris, Madrid or Rome, Vonage nowallows you to call the U.S. for the price of a local call," said Michael Tribolet, president of Vonage America. "More importantly, this is a tremendous gain for the broadband telephony industry, as Vonage is making the world smaller. We are now able to bring friends, families and business associates from around the globe closer together."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Grandstream GXV3000

George Jetson here we come!!

Internet Telephony Conference Spring 2006, Ft. Lauderdale, FL—January 25, 2006—Grandstream Networks today announced it has completed engineering interoperability tests between its new GXV-3000 H.264 based SIP video phone and the SIP products from a few partner companies. Based on completed interoperability tests conducted by engineers from Grandstream and its partners, GXV-3000 works seamlessly with SIP soft client from Counterpath, IP-PBX or softswitch products from Digium, Netcentrex, and Pingtel.

“The Grandstream product is one of the sleekest and coolest video phone products out there today," said David Michaud, CEO of Netcentrex, Inc. "It combines sound design with features that are fully supported by our market leading video calling VoIP application servers and frequently requested by our growing base of joint customers."

“The launch of the GXV-3000 video phone underscores the reality that video and VoIP are here,” said Mark Spencer, president of Digium and creator of Asterisk. We see open source playing an integral role in making VoIP video conferencing an easy and cost-effective method of communicating face-to-face over distances.”

The new GXV-3000 features an adjustable advanced VGA resolution camera sensor (with 1-touch ON/OFF switch for privacy control), a razor-thin 5”6-inch TFT color LCD with stunning picture quality (2-dimensionally rotatable to allow nearly all viewing angles), 5 navigation keys, 3 line indicators (each of which supports independent SIP account), visual voice/video message indicator, hands-free speakerphone with advanced acoustic echo cancellation, dual 10M/100M Ethernet ports (switch or router mode configurable), 2 USB ports, 2.5mm headset jack, and RCA style audio/video output jack to allow simultaneous video output to TV. In addition, it also supports video call Hold/Transfer/Forward, 3-way conference, audio mute and camera block, video phone book, mirror camera, picture-in-picture, 4xzoom (2xoptical plus 2xdigital), on-screen-display, auto focus and auto exposure, anti-flickering, video capture & save, configurable screen-saver pictures, downloadable music ring tones, and intuitive graphic user interface.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What is a VoIP gateway?

When you search through Voice Over IP Provider news and sites you will often see the term gateway. Here is a simple explanation of what VoIP gateways are and how they work by Laura Rupert of tech-faq.com.

The meshing of old analog telephone connections and VoIP service means that there has to be something that sort of brings the two together so that customers don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the new devices needed for VoIP service. A VoIP gateway acts as a bridge between the old and the new, allowing customers to use their same phone lines, their same phones, but still enjoy the benefits of modern technology. A VoIP gateway is essentially responsible for connecting your VoIP network to your public telephone network so that you can keep using features on your old telephone but also use the VoIP network.

The VoIP gateway aides in call detection and call origin so you can get the calls when they come through. Live VoIP requires that there is a gateway or bridge between the old telephone mechanics and the new VoIP technology. This gateway will become even easier in the future as the newer technology becomes more common than the old. The VoIP gateway is also partially responsible for converting the analog to a digital voice so that voice quality remains clear and true. Without a gateway you may not get your calls and voice conversion wouldn’t be what it is now!

A gateway and a router are really what make it all happen so that a consumer can take advantage of the great quality and services that VoIP has to offer. When you sign up for VoIP service you may get more information about the specific gateway that your provider uses and they’ll be able to give you more detailed and in-depth information about the technology associated with it. The technology is so fascinating that it’s hard not to stop and listen to all the details!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rategate.com, a Comprehensive U.S. Phone Rate Comparison Site Launches

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Rategate.com ( http://www.rategate.com/ ), a phone rate comparison website for the U.S., was launched by Rategate LLC on December 29, 2005. Rategate.com will provide visitors with unique comparison tools to lower their telephone bill through the use of cheap 10-10 dial around providers.

"Most people are paying way too much for their telecommunication services, especially phone bills. They are often twice as much as they should be," says Mike Harris, Rategate.com's CEO. "We created Rategate.com so that people can lower their phone bill by comparing different providers with our unique tools. "Rategate.com lists all facts and information in a straightforward manner, with nothing hidden or exaggerated. Then Rategate.com objectively ranks each plan based on its per-minute rates and other criteria like connection fees or surcharges. Rategate.com only features companies that meet their strict quality requirements:
- Unparalleled saving values
- Full-Service Support
- Honest, No-Nonsense Plans that are free of hidden fees and extra charges that are not fully disclosed

Starting with advanced 10-10 rate comparisons, customers will also benefit from a complete database that includes all kinds of telecommunication products like dial around, fixed line & wireless rate plans, calling card rates and DSL & VOIP products. Rategate.com explains all telecom terms and helps customers to understand their phone bill. All of these services are provided free of charge and require no registration.

Rategate.com also offers content syndication. Webmasters can integrate a dynamic toolbox with the lowest phone rates of specific countries and/or regions within their website for free.

About Rategate.com LLCRategate LLC operates Rategate.com, a free rate comparison service that covers all kinds of daily communication needs. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Rategate.com has the fastest-growing database of telecommunication services. Operating with the providers themselves ensures always having the latest rates and most accurate tariff information in its database.
Contact: Andreas Bach, +492131600520, (Kaarst, Germany) ab@vartex.de of Vartex Media Marketing GmbH

Monday, January 23, 2006

Internet Telephony Confernece and Expo

One day to go to the first big (and possibly biggest)event of 2006. Taking place in Fort Lauderdale, keynote speakers such as Ron Insana from CNBC and former Secertary of U.S. Homeland Security, Tom Ridge will be on hand to speak about the role of VoIP and internet communications in today's world. The number of sign ups for the convention have been very promising and large turnouts are expected.

Friday, January 20, 2006

XChange - Yahoo! Survey: Search Engines Help Consumers Research VoIP

Welcome 90%!!!

According to Yahoo!, nearly 90 percent of the people surveyed used the Internet to get more information about VoIP services. Of those users, 67 percent used Internet search engines as their primary research tools, followed by ISP and phone company Web sites at 49 percent.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tesco offers free internet calls

Tesco today entered the internet calls market, offering customers the chance to talk to friends and family via their computers for an upfront cost of less than £20.

The supermarket giant claims the move will bring voice over internet protocol (Voip) - calls made over broadband - to a mass market.

Tesco will charge £19.97 for a starter pack including a handset which when plugged into a computer will allow customers to call other users free of charge via the internet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Google Opens IM, VoIP Services

By Antone GonsalvesTechWeb News Jan 18, 2006

Google Inc. has opened it instant messaging and Internet telephony services to any company willing to support the XMPP protocol, a standard under the control of an open-source foundation.

XMPP, or extensible messaging and presence protocol, is an XML-based protocol for passing instant messaging and presence information among servers. The protocol is under the Jabber Software Foundation.

Google said on its
Web site that it's committed to taking an "open federation" approach to instant messaging and Internet telephony, which means people on its networks can communicate with anyone on a system supporting XMPP.
By taking this step, Google hopes to move the industry "one step closer to making IM and Internet voice calling as ubiquitous as email," the company said, noting that XMPP is supported by Earthlink, Gizmo Project, Tiscali, Netease, Chikka, MediaRing, and "thousands of other ISPs, universities, corporations and individual users."

Missing, however, are rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Neither of their IM or
VoIP systems communicates with Google's.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

VOIP for small buisnesses

Are you getting the best phone service for your hard-earned dollars? If you stayed on with whatever company got “dibs” on your area when phone service was deregulated, you may be paying more than you need to. Businesses have learned that there is a lot of money to be saved by comparing phone services options and choosing carefully. Why should they get all the benefits? Take a look at your phone service bills from the past year. Take note whether your make more long distance calls or if local and/or toll calls take a bigger bite out of your budget. Knowing what kind of service you need is the first step in taking control of your phone service costs.
If your long distance phone service is costing you an arm and a leg, here’s a secret—you can make those calls for free. There’s a new technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that lets you make long distance calls over the Internet. Because the signal is not carried over land-lines operated by a phone service, the only charge you pay is your regular bill to your Internet service provider. To use VoIP instead of a traditional phone service, you must have a computer with broadband, or high-speed Internet access. The cost for this access may see high at first glance, but when you realize you save the money you would normally pay for long distance phone service, the true cost comes way down.
You can also use VoIP in place of your local phone service. One of the great things about VoIP is that you can save money using it even if the person you are calling only has regular phone service. Another way to save money on local phone service is to use a cellular phone instead of a land-line. This tactic takes a bit more consideration, because if you don’t have a good cellular service plan, using your cell instead of a local phone service can end up costing you more. Before you decide to shut off your regular phone service for good, be sure to crunch the numbers and make sure a cellular phone or VoIP is the best way to handle the number of local calls you make on a regular basis.
Voice over Internet Protocol calling makes good sense for most small businesses. Large business spend enough money on their phone service to work out the best deal, but many small businesses don’t have that clout. Using an alternative phone service is one way small businesses can put their profits where they do the most good.

Craig Whitley is a freelance writer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a featured columnist for numerous business-related websites, including Your-Phone-Service.info.
Article Source:

Monday, January 16, 2006

FDA chooses VoIP

The FDA selected VoIP because it will cost less money to move employees from one location to another as they complete projects. The agency also hopes its new network will foster collaboration, with features such as unified messaging and desktop videoconferencing.

"We saw that VoIP was cost-effective if you're building a new building," says Glenn Rogers, deputy CIO. "With a legacy infrastructure, you have to pull the cables out of the building and redo the network."

The FDA will spend $25 million in eight years to build out the VoIP infrastructure. This cost includes all equipment from the VoIP phones back to the wire closets

Friday, January 13, 2006

Test Your VOIP

TestYourVoIP.com will make a call from wherever you are to one of our U.S. or international test locations and report the results for free. It'll only take about 20 seconds if you have Java installed.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Can I still use my computer while making a call?

Yes, VoIP allows web surfing while making and receiving VoIP calls simultaneously. It shares the bandwidth connection with other LAN computers and prioritizes voice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

If I plug my phone into my box, does that mean I have only one phone I can answer?

There are two ways to get around this. The first one takes a little doing. You take the phone line from the back of your voip box and plug it directly into the wall jack. You then go outside to the box coming in from the phone company and disconnect their line coming in. Then just like that all your jacks are now ready for VoIP service.

The second answer is a little easier. You get
expandable cordless phones. Only the base phone needs to be plugged into a jack. The rest need only an outlet and satellite the phone service off the base phone. This is a great and easy way to expand your phones to anywhere in the house.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Can I keep my number?

Okay now we start this week with some the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about VoIP. Probably the number one concern with most people who are thinking about switching to a Voice Over IP provider is "Can I keep my number?" The answer is yes!! Usually most providers will assign you a temporary number to your box at first. Then you will simply fill out a form for the new provider who will use that to get the number from you existing phone company. This is called porting your number. If you are planning to port your number to NOT cancel your existing service right away. Wait until you get confirmation from your VoIP provider that they have ported your number. Otherwise your current phone company may give you number away to someone else. It is pretty much the same process if you are afraid you may go back to the standard land line after VoIP. So there are no worries, if you take the proper steps, about losing your number.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

VoIP Discounts

For more in depth comparisons and personal reviews of different Voice over ip provdiers go to voip discounts.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Sunrocket has quickly become one of the top ten as well in VoIP services. The reviews that I read more all very good. The only negatives are sounding like broken records. Customer Service!!! The equipment all works well but calling in and getting a person is difficult. Most all services are going to have fairly similar equipment and quality. If customer service is important I would suggest calling their help lines before signing up and see how long it takes to get a hold of person. Once again if you shop around there will be some smaller companies that will survive the beginning onslaught of all these new companies and will be around because of their customer service.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Packet 8

Still in the top 10 we come to Packet 8. I read over 50 reviews for P8. They seem to get an average rank of 6 out of 10. Most of the bad reviews may not have been justified. There were a good number who complained about a half second to one second delay. That is probably just going to happen on a lot of Voice Over IP services. But there were some complaints about the billing department as well.

Overall they seem to have an easy to set up product and not a lot of extra charges. They have no set up fee and the equipment is free. They do charge a refundable cancellation fee that you get back upon the return of the equipment. However, they do charge a $1.50 recovery fee every month.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Push to Talk for the Web

eStara has announced push to talk advertising. eStara Push to Talk for the Web gives online business the power to talk to customers directly from their website. eStara Push To Talk is the most widely deployed "click to call" service of its kind in the world.

Website visitors simply click a Push to Talk button and select PC-to-Phone or Phone-to-Phone to speak to a sales or customer agent in real-time.

Push to Talk combines the sales and customer service benefits of live voice communication with real-time reporting to online business that demonstrate real-world results.

Push to Talk to take you to a page with a demo.

p.s. Not to be out done...Google is working on a
Click-to-Call system

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Okay so Lingo is up there with one the top 10 of Voice Over IP providers. I read over a 150 reviews about Lingo and I would say only a dozen of them were good ones. The average rating on one site was 4.0 out of 10. There were even reviews with in the past couple of weeks. Among the major disadvantages listed about Lingo is that its voice quality is not among the top in the industry. Lingo's highlight was its low international rates, which is good for international callers.

Lingo does offer the first month free, but do charge a set up fee of $29.95. They also have a cancellation fee of $39.95 if you cancel in the first 12 months and do not buy their approved equipment. So for most people there should be no cancellation fee. Also if you have multiple lines and cancel one of those lines the $39.95 fee may apply as well.