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Posts from April 2005

Om for the Defense on To VoIP or Not To VoIP

Om jumps to the defense of a reporter who wrote a candid piece about VoIPing or not. While others seem to jump on the reporter who wrote what I feel is a balanced article and who cited reasons why not, I don't see what all the noise is about.

First, even though I'm an early adopter like Om, I don't abandon the older technology just because the new flavor has come along. While I use only my VoIP lines in the house, I still keep my SBC landline simply because I have personal (and professional) reasons for doing so.

When I bought my Mac I didn't hold a fire sale for my PC's and still make sure they are current with their updates. Why? Because people I know still use PC's and call me for help from time to time. Does this mean I'm still a PC user? I guess. But I'm not wedded to any one platform. Same goes for making telephone calls. My goal is the communication between me and someone else. If it happens by landline, VoIPline, Skype, Cell phone or smoke signals, as long as the message is heard clearly and reacted to in real time, I'm happy. Now if VoIP lets me do more than my POTS line does, then it gets used more and eventually the POTS line goes away, just like my Apple IIc, Osborne, NEC, Compaq and other computers which all did things like Word Processing, Spreadsheets and yes, even let me get on line.

The bottom line is PC Magazine is a mass reader publication, not an insiders and super-early adopter publication.


8 x 8 Says VideoPhone Sales are Strong, New Price Point Kept

I received a press release from 8 x 8 via PubSub that said Packet8 is going to extend their $99.00 promotional offer for their DV326 VideoPhone.

Given that the Vonage Viseon videophone is delayed, this may be the only crap game in town. That said, there are other options like SightSpeed and ineen which uses Xten's eyeBeam that offer face to face video calls without the threat of a $299.00 early termination fee.

My suggestion is before someone goes out and plunks down the $99, plus a two year commitment at $19.95 a month, and the early termination agreement for Packet8 is that they at least experiment with Video chat sessions to see how much usage they really have and if they need it.


Airline Praise for Southwest

Jeff Pulver always talks about how much he loves Jet Blue. I do too, but my heart goes to Southwest, the airline I fly on average now of about once every ten days or less. While Southwest doesn't offer free WiFi in the gate areas like Jet Blue does, most, if not all of the airports I've been in that problem hasn't mattered to me.

First, I have accounts with both Boingo and T-Mobile which I pay for. Those two pretty much cover all the airports I use. Second, if I need to buy a connection, I figure the cost is worth the benefit of always being connected at broadband speed.

But what has impressed me more about Southwest is how their branding and brand experience is transcending everything they are doing. From the online, face to face and now their in flight magazine (which I would subscribe to) they are doing just about everything right. Take today. I thought I was going to be late for my flight and decided that booking a seat on the next plane, some fifty minutes later would be the wise thing todo. Instead of taking my money, the kind telephone reservationist looked at the availability and said, don't pay the difference, the flight is wide open and likely won't fill up so you'll have no problem getting on.

Could she have charged me? Yes. Did she demonstrate that at Southwest it's not about altitude, but Attitude. Totally. Compare that experience to American or United, and you'll clearly see why Southwest is winning and why they are going more upscale as well as expanding all over the USA.

With airlines like JetBlue and Southwest thinking smarter and working harder for the customers when I have a choice in air travel, I go with them.


Swiss Skypers Rejoice

EuroTelcoblog uber blogger James Enck points out a sweet deal from the land of alcohol filled chocolate. Seems Swisscom has lowered the price on their GPRS (or is it UMTS, EDGE or ???) data network. The price ends up being a boon to users of Skype on PDA's and Laptops who connect to the SwissComm network.

I'm adding EVDO to the laptop again and plan on running some VoIP tests on both the PC and Mac once the card is active with Verizon.


Is The New Chief Not as Good as The Old Chief @ The FCC

Paul Kapustka seems to think that in a story today over at Advanced IP Pipeline.

Seems the ever eagle eyed Kapustka has nailed it when he reported on FCC Chairman Martin speaking before congress on the subject of E-911.

One item Paul missed though. Before Verizon and SBC announced they are ready to open their PSAPS to the VoIP players, Vonage and QWEST announced their intentions about a week earlier.


VoIP In Austria Regulatory Paper

Richard who is by far the leading VoIP expert in Austria has a post that should be of interest to VoIP companies wanting to put their service into Austria. Really it's more suited for carriers who want to issue Austrian numbers. Here's why. IP knows no boundaries. If you're a customer of any broadband phone provider and you take your Telephone Adapter (that's the box you plugged into your router or between the router and DSL or Cable modem) your number is wherever you happen to be. If you're using a softphone as your end point, then you're number is wherever your PC or PDA happens to be. I'm sure hoping that forward thinking nations never start thinking backwards as some countries already are and block or restrict the opportunity for global brands of telecom carriers to exist. We are already hearing reports about Telmex blocking VoIP traffic. If other nations jump on this bandwagon, and some already have, the "portability" of VoIP gets stopped dead in its tracks.