Packet 8 has rolled out more features to their VoIP service offering.
What we are starting to see is the first shot of what I'll call "AppWars" between the VoIP service providers, as each one rolls out more advanced service capabilities or adds what the others have to catch up.
With today's announcement, Packet 8 adds the all important *69 feature, so heavilyused by college age youth, homemakers and others who don't want to either look up phone numbers or need to make a fast call back to someone who just called them, but missed the call.
The other features announced include annonymous call blocking, either to a busy signal or direct to voice mail, the ability to disable call waiting, a do not disturb mode, something which AT&T Call Vantage already offers and most importantly, Local Number Portability (LNP) which will allows Packet8 subscribers to retain their local telephone, cellular, or internet telephone service providers' phone numbers when switching service providers. Packet8 offers this service free of charge to new or existing subscribers.
Current subscribers can update their telephone adapters by downloading and installing the latest version of software for the Packet8 DTA (Desktop Terminal Adaptor) at http://www.packet8.net/upgrade. I'm not sure why they don't just flash the ROM remotely, but that's likely got more to do with their custom built TA.
What we're seeing is just the start of the advanced service offerings. I fully expect the next release from At&T CallVantage, Vonage and others to all start offering many new applications and capabilities that causes a return to voice, versus email and chatting, and an easier way to use the advanced features.