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Virtual PBX Reduces International Dialing Rates by as Much as 80 Percent

SAN JOSE, CA — (Marketwire) — 12/06/11 — Virtual PBX , inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, announced today that it is reducing the cost of international calling in all of its plans by up to 80 percent. With this change, calls to multiple international locations — such as land lines in London and Buenos Aires, and mobile phones in Hong Kong — are as low as 1.9 cents per minute. The new rates are available now with no added fees or plan changes to all existing and new Virtual PBX customers on all plans.

 

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“Virtual PBX is always working to find ways to save money for our customers,” said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “We already offer local numbers in over 40 countries for clients that want an international presence and want their callers to avoid the high costs of international dialing. Now we’ve made it possible for our customers to call out to international destinations with very low costs as well.”


The new international rates build on the company’s extensive history of providing cost-effective voice services to reach and receive vital business calls to and from locations around the world.

Virtual PBX, a U.S.-based company, started offering outbound dialing to international destinations when it developed the first hosted PBX in 1996. Now, clients can make calls out to international numbers or have employees receive calls on non-U.S. phones with a much lower rate per minute. And using the company’s Open Systems Initiative, calls can be routed to VoIP phones anywhere, for free.

In December 2009, Virtual PBX started offering local inbound numbers to their clients in thousands of cities worldwide, providing clients the ability to publish local numbers in these cities while maintaining business operations in the location of their choice. The combination of low outbound rates to international phone numbers, free VoIP calling anywhere, and local inbound numbers in both the U.S. and other countries makes Virtual PBX a strong hosted PBX choice for companies with personnel, clients or business activities in almost any global location.

Specific rate information can be found on the company’s website.

About Virtual PBX
Virtual PBX believes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, especially when it comes to serving your customers. Our hosted PBX phone service gives businesses a professional, fully automated call answering and routing solution that can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Virtual PBX, your employees, whether in one location or far-flung, can focus on serving your customers while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - December 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

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Lync (Skype4B) & Outlook: Communications User Interfaces

Communication coexistence and convergence is going to happen, so better to be leading the parade than to be bringing up the rear.

It seems obvious, but let’s say it anyway: In enterprises, public or private sector, people want to communicate where they do their jobs.

So, if people are doing their jobs in email, they want to communicate from their email client, i.e. mostly Microsoft Outlook. If they are doing their job using presence and instant messaging (you know, like they do with texting in their personal lives), they will most likely want to communicate using Microsoft Lync or perhaps IBM Sametime/Connections or Google Apps. If their jobs require online meetings with voice, application sharing, and perhaps video, they will likely want to work in the context of their calendars and documents, such as they have in Microsoft Office, Google Apps, or IBM Sametime/Connections. If they are doing their jobs in a software application (e.g. Salesforce.com, SAP, Oracle, et al.), they will want to communicate in the context of that application or Web portal, which may include Microsoft APIs.

Sure, you might note, some jobs are very voice-centric, and the desk telephone is entirely sufficient for desk-based jobs or cell phone voice is entirely sufficient for highly mobile jobs. But the number of these voice-sufficient jobs seems to be on the decline.

Almost every one of our consulting engagements in the past four years has included the question of how to bring all forms of communications together into one or more of these primary user interfaces — Outlook (which natively includes Lync functions), Lync, or software applications. Sure, all but the most progressive organizations still want a phone on the desktops, but the communications and IT teams are feeling the pressure to also deliver the entire suite of communication to the users’ interfaces of choice.

The good news is that there are solutions to this puzzle. The bad news is that none of these solutions is perfect from a technology perspective. Every one of the options requires some management of technology integration and some degree of change leadership. There’s no free lunch.

This is particularly on my mind as I’m about to fly to Chicago for Microsoft’s new omnibus conference, Microsoft Ignite. Lync/Skype for Business will just be part of the mix, compared to its dedicated Lync Conference 2014, but the new Skype for Business will still have a significant role in the three-hour opening keynote session. In fact, Microsoft will be doing almost everything they can to reinforce the trend that we are already noticing to be the communication interface of choice for enterprises of all sizes and types. It’s pretty likely we will hear a lot at Ignite about how Lync becomes Skype for Business and, voila, half a billion global users are now directly in reach of the enterprise, with presence, IM, voice, video and sharing.

We will also hear a lot about using Skype for Business in the cloud (my Office 365 Lync account was automatically updated to Skype for Business today) and on mobile devices. While Microsoft had a weak story for mobile devices back in the Office Communications Server (OCS) days, Lync 2013 closed those gaps and Skype has always been far ahead with mobile device clients for almost everything.

So, what is an enterprise to do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Embrace the change — don’t avoid it. These new communications tools offer powerful ways for the users to make their work both better and easier, as they have learned from their consumer-type experiences. It’s not a great strategy to limit the communications offerings to the desk phones on the IP-PBX and pretend nothing else is happening. The users will work around to get what they need, whether through their mobile devices or through cloud-based subscription services (e.g. Saleforce.com includes Chatter for presence, IM and click-to-communicate by voice or video to other Salesforce users).

2. Really understand your enterprises communications usage profiles… really! We’ve written previously about usage profiles. It is very effective to understand and differentiate the communications patterns of your users. Which ones are desk-based, voice-sufficient? Which are transaction-centric but need to communicate from within their applications like in the Salesforce example above? Which ones use document-centric collaboration, whether desk-based or mobile? You get the picture. Once you look for these patterns, they are very obvious, and very helpful.

3. Deploy the right tools for the users in the usage profiles. In some cases, the ‘Lync factor’ is not even involved, as with those voice-sufficient desk or voice-sufficient mobile usage profiles. But when there is a need to bring the Lync-type functions together with the IP-PBX, look at the informative reference materials on the vendors’ sites and at the articles here on No Jitter (e.g. the Living with Lync series). You will find several options to integrate Lync with your IP-PBX:

  • Use the IP-PBX vendor’s plug-in to Lync, such as Cisco’s CUCILync or Avaya’s ACA for Lync. Those will let the Lync user make and receive calls on the IP PBX. However, these products also block some Lync functions and display a separate user interface component, so most enterprises move on to the next option.

  • Use the IP PBX vendor’s plug-in to Outlook and SharePoint, such as offered by Cisco, Unify and others. In this case, the voice and video interface are buried inside the Office contact card, so there’s no conflict with Lync.
  • Use Lync Enterprise Voice, so that Lync users can make and receive calls directly, without even touching the IP-PBX, or by routing calls to and from the IP-PBX acting as a gateway. This works well for the usage profiles where users have already abandoned the desk telephone. However, this option may make coordination between the Lync client and the desk phone challenging for users.
  • Partition your enterprise users. Some usage profiles live entirely on Lync; other profiles live entirely on the IP-PBX. No duplication of costs or user licensing. The coordinated dial plan can move to one of the several directory-enabled gateway solutions, such as those exhibited at Enterprise Connect 2015.

In most cases, similar options exist for integration of the IP PBX with Google Apps, IBM Sametime/Connections, some application software providers, and some enterprise social networking solutions.

And don’t forget, the bottom line of this debate is often the bottom line on the enterprise’s profit statement or budget reconciliation. Are these investments making the enterprise better overall, and not just in the telecom department?

We wish you great good fortune on your enterprise’s journey of communication coexistence and convergence. It’s happening, or going to happen, so better to be leading the parade than to be bringing up the rear.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

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Part I: VoIP plays a key role in being future-ready

This is the first in a series about Voice over Internet Protocal (VoIP) and the trends that will transform organizations. 

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), often defined as IP telephony, is becoming ubiquitous in the business world. Companies are stepping into the 21st century at full throttle while abandoning their plain old telephone services (POTs) with glee.

Steve Day, head of business development at Network Telecom (UK), a leading provider of telecommunication services, says larger enterprises are now embracing the VoIP journey:

“Large enterprises are gaining confidence as they watch complex deployments successfully transition from traditional technologies. This will fuel the uptake exponentially over the coming years as the connectivity infrastructure becomes more available, robust, and affordable.”

A little communications history

I’ve always been fascinated with technological roots and a question that always pops into my mind is, “who’s your daddy?” From Internet pioneers, Berners-Lee, Cerf and Kahn, to the father of C and UNIX, Dennis Ritchie, I need to know who set what technology ball in motion. This curiosity isn’t any different when it gets down to the roots of VoIP technology either there simply has to be a VoIP daddy out there somewhere.

If it were not for the invention of the telephone, the Internet, and Internet Protocol (IP) the world would probably still be communicating via Morse code — imagine if you can, a world minus these inventions. Such archaic thoughts are unfathomable in the year 2015. But, if these three major inventions laid the cornerstone for the successful communication systems that we have today — what invention did we forget?

In the world of inventions, an integral nugget was deposited 27 years ago, when Vocal Tech Inc co-founders Alon Cohen (an Israeli-born entrepreneur) and Lior Haramaty designed and patented (US Patent 5825771), the first audio transceiver. Their invention inexorably changed the telecommunications industry and played a huge part in making VoIP possible today.

We’ve come a long way since 1995 when VocalTek created the first Internet phone.1 You can catch a brief glimpse of Internet Phone Release 4 software on pages 28-32 of this 1996 buyer’s guide.

That was back in the day when dial-up was queen and your connection was high-tech (or so you thought), with speeds ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps.

VoIP beginnings:

  • 1994 – VocalTek’s Cohen and Haramaty patent the first audio transceiver.

  • 1995 – VocalTek creates the first Internet phone software and Intel and Radvision began working on VoIP standards (H.323 standards).

  • 1996 – The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) begins working on the H.323 standards.

  • 1999 – The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), RFC2543 is released and becomes a key catalyst for the future of VoIP.

  • 2000-Present – Entrepreneurs are abundant and offer pricing that beats up the old POTs with cloud-based solutions gaining popularity. Large businesses start switching to on-premise IP PBX solutions that offer benefits in cost, features, and productivity.2

The PSTN vs. VoIP Debate

Though an increasing number of companies are moving away from Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSN) and diving into VoIP alternatives with advantages that offer greater scalability, lower cost, and value-added features – PSTN vs. VoIP murmurs still linger, reminding us that emergency calls (911), power outages, and natural disasters could leave us in the middle of an ocean with a boat stripped of its rudder and sails.  

Josh Lowenthal, COO of Freeconferencecall.com, believes that some areas of VoIP will grow dramatically and some will hit the ceiling:

“For mission-critical use and collaboration, quality, and connectivity doesn’t measure up to PTSN…. When you have a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane, VoIP is unreliable.”

Though Josh believes that the future of VoIP could be very transformational, he also believes that the biggest problem is commercial:

“Skype will never be interchangeable with Viber, thus limiting its potential. Consumers want multiple choices to bind these together. However, it doesn’t appear that any plans are on the horizon for these VoIP services to do so which means PSTN will be irreplaceable.”

Future ready

To #BeFutureReady, you need to have a VoIP disaster recovery plan in place. The following procedures will mitigate downtime and keep communications flowing. This plan should include the following:

  1. Remote access: Hosted VoIP systems provides multiple points of protection to allow for communication recovery.

  2. Redundancy: Geographic Recovery Plan.

  3. Procedures in place: Rerouting calls to other locations.

What does the future of VoIP hold?

One trend that is kicking up speed in the VoIP realm is that of unified communications (UC) and it is a trend that is transforming the way mid-sized to enterprise businesses are operating today.

Will you #BeFutureReady? Curious? Want to know who changed the face of the telecommunication industry? What will the experts reveal? Stay tuned for Part II where VoIP and UC (unified communications) come together

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Footnotes

1 Tehrani, R. (1996) CTI For ManagementTM Buyer’s Guide [Web log post]. Retrieved April 28, 2015, fromhttp://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/docs/cti-buyers-guide-1996.pdf [pp 28-32]

2 Forgrieve, A (2006, March 20/updated 2013). A Guide to VoIP History – The Rise of VoIP [Web log post]. Retrieved April 28, 2015, from http://www.whichvoip.com/voip/articles/voip_history.htm

 

Contributors

Steve Day, Head of Business Development at Network Telecom (UK)

Josh Lowenthal,  Chief Operating Officer at Freeconferencecall.com

Resources:

Dell Business Phone Business Phone: Enable BYOD and reduce costs with secure, enterprise-managed phone capabilities on smartphones and tablets.

Sonicwall Solutions: Get high performance and comprehensive Voice over IP security

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 5, 2015 at 3:36 am

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VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver fears FCC will stifle Internet innovation (Video)

The UpTake: VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver joined other “tech elders” in Washington, D.C., to celebrate 20 years of Internet independence and to lobby Congress to override the FCC’s decision to apply utility-style regulation to computer networks.

V oIP pioneer Jeff Pulver spent one afternoon last week on Capitol Hill talking to congressional staff about the threat to innovation posed by the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to apply utility-style regulation to the Internet.

Then he went over that evening to the Center for Strategic and International Studies to join other so-called “tech elders” for what amounted to a geek reunion: a celebration of the day, 20 years ago, when the NSFNET backbone was decommissioned and the Internet was privatized.

Lobbying Capitol Hill and celebrating Internet Independence Day are connected in Pulver’s mind, because the federal government’s decision to apply a light regulatory touch to the Internet in the 1990s unleashed “so much innovation and opportunity.” That innovation is threatened, Pulver thinks, by the FCC’s approach to net neutrality.


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“I believe we owe it to our future generations to offer the same opportunities for them that we had for ourselves,” said Pulver, who co-founded Vonage and the Zula mobile app.

“Policymakers should do everything to protect the open Internet — no one argues that — but we are doing the American public a disservice if we insist that the FCC’s approach is the best one,” he said. “It not only disregards the past 20 years of success of a private Internet treated as an information service, it ignores the lessons learned a decade ago in the process that led to the ‘Pulver Order’ in 2004.”

In that case, the FCC ruled, “after 10 years of deliberating and hindering investment,” that voice services such as Pulver’s Free World Dialup were not telecommunications services subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 4, 2015 at 7:33 pm

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Your PBX has been hacked!

phreakThis past week a very large corporation on the east coast was hacked in what seems to naive old me to be a new way — through its corporate phone system. Then one night during the same week I got a call from my bank saying my account had been compromised and to press #4 to talk to its security department. My account was fine: it was a telephone-based phishing expedition. Our phone network has been compromised, folks, and nobody with a phone is safe.

Edward Snowden was right we’re not secure, though this time I don’t think the National Security Agency is involved.

Here’s how this PBX hack came down. Step one begins with looking for companies that have outsourced their IT help desk to a third party company, preferably overseas. There are today many, many such companies and it is easy to find them and to find out who is running their offsite or offshore help desk.

Step two is robocalling at night into the corporate phone system, punching-in each possible extension number. Live and dead extensions are mapped respectively and any voicemail greetings that are encountered are mined for the user’s name.

Step three happens during normal business hours, not at night. An employee of the target company is called at their desk by someone claiming to be from the outsourced help desk company. The incoming caller ID is spoofed to look right, the caller addresses the employee by name, it all feels legit. “I’m from the (outsourcing company name) IT help desk”, the Bad Guy says, “and we’re having an issue with the network, possibly originating at your workstation, so I need you to: 1) install a software tool (malware, virus, etc.) or; 2) allow a remote access session so I can fix the problem”.

It’s social engineering and it’s happening all over the place.

My call from the bank was different. I don’t remember if they said my name or not, but I am a current customer. A friend of mine who faced a similar experience recently was called about an account he had closed but I wasn’t so lucky. I was really tempted to press #4 but precisely because I’d heard of my friend’s experience just the day before, I didn’t. Instead I logged-in to my online banking account where there were no alerts and nothing seemed amiss. My bank can text me if there’s a problem but it hadn’t, and no money seemed to be missing. Then I called the number on the back of my ATM card to talk to the bank security department and it was closed. The call center was supposed to be open until 10PM local time and it was only 8:15. Could it have been breached and a zillion numbers like mine stolen so quickly?

I called back the next day, the bank said there had been no problem with my account, but it couldn’t explain why the call center was down.

This was Bank of America, by the way.

We’ve lost control of our phone network. I’m not lobbying here for a return to the ATT monopoly of pre-1983, but what we have now is not safe. Haven’t you noticed the uptick in sales calls to your number that you thought was on the National Do Not Call Registry? That registry, and the law that created it, are no longer enforceable. The bad guys won but nobody told us. They are operating from overseas and can’t be traced. If they steal our money it can’t be traced, either.

What do you think can be done about this problem? I have some ideas, what are yours?

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 4, 2015 at 5:33 pm

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Mark Zuckerberg: As more people make VOIP calls with Messenger and …

Facebook’s Messenger app accounts for more than 10 percent of global Internet phone calls, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today. And as the company’s WhatsApp messaging service begins offering VOIP calling to iOS and Android users, that number will only go up, in particular because more users means better and better quality calls.

In response to a question during its quarterly earnings conference call today, Zuckerberg said the company has no plans to charge for any of its VOIP or messaging services. He also said that as the global community of users of services like Messenger and WhatsApp grows towards 2 billion people, the quality of calls made using those tools will increase. And that will lead to more people making calls.

Zuckerberg argued that call quality is a function of a critical mass of users. But because Messenger and WhatsApp now each have at least 700 million users — Messenger just hit 800 million — voice calling is catching on among users.

“We’re pretty confident that because of the higher quality calling you can get,” Zuckerberg said, “this will continue growing quickly.”

Today, Facebook reported quarterly earnings of $3.54 billion, up 42 percent year-over-year. It also reported that it now has 1.44 billion monthly active users. All told, 73 percent of its $3.32 billion in advertising revenue came from mobile ads.

 

More information:

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

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VoIP Terminology – Learn the Language


VoIP Terminology – Learn the Language

Details

WhaTech Channel: Business Telephony Blog

Published on Monday, 04 May 2015 14:25

Submitted by Claudette Pope

Read: 25 times

Every industry, every profession has its own terminology, its own acronyms and all too often those in the know forget ordinary Joe does not understand the lingo.

So for every Joe out there, here is a dictionary but not in alphabetical order, more order of importance.
As this is about Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP, let’s start there.

VoIP
This is the technology which transmits voice over the internet as digital data just like text and digital images.  It starts as voice and when it gets to the other end, it is reconverted to voice, hence you and the person at the other end can understand each other.

Internet Protocol – IP
This protocol is the set of rules which defines how data packets should be moved between the origin and the destination.  It is the language computers use to communicate over the Internet.

Modem
This is a device that transmits and receives data over the plain old telephone system’s (POTS) analogue lines.

Router
This is a device which acts as an interface between two computer networks.  They connect networks together.
Note:   You can and most likely have a combined Modem/Router

Bandwidth
This is the possible volume of data which can be transmitted via a communication line in a fixed amount of time.  It is usually referred to in “bits per second” (bps) for digital purposes.  When enquiring about VoIP you will most likely be asked what bandwidth you currently have in your office, well if the provider knows their stuff you will be asked.

Kbps
Kilobits per second indicates how fast the data transfer is and relates to the router and modem you currently use.  The speed will determine the call quality you will experience.

Codec
A codec is software which is used to compress or decompress a digital file.  In terms of audio compression, the Codec used will determine the call quality you will experience.  For example My Business Voice uses G711a which provides excellent quality.

IP Phone
An IP Phone or Voice over IP phone is a device used to make phone calls over the internet.  It is either stand-alone like traditional phones (and looks like one) or it is connected to a PBX.  Instead of being connected to a phone jack on the wall it is connected to a router.

Softphone
This is a software application installed on a PC and uses VoIP to make voice calls over the internet.  You do need a microphone and speakers or a headset to use this effectively, which is great when you are travelling.

PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network, this is the old copper wire network which is being slowly replaced by the NBN and it goes hand-in-hand with POTS…………..

PBX
Private Branch eXchange which is a telephone switching system which connects telephone extensions to each other in-house and to the outside telephone network.

Cloud Computing
This is outsourcing.  It is storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.

Hosted PBX
Your PBX which is outsourced and generally hosted in a datacentre in the Cloud where it can be managed via a web browser.  You no longer need all that equipment taking a floor space in the office.

There is of course, a lot more to VoIP but these are the basics to get the conversation started and a few hints on what you need to supply to a provider when you are talking about VoIP for your business.

My Business Voice

Our VoiP and Hosted PBX services are dedicated for business customers only. We only sell the best business grade products We stand out from the rest because we have built a quality VoIP network for just business.

Visit our website to start a free trail or take a tour of our VoIP Telephone System

 

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 4, 2015 at 11:27 am

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VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver fears FCC will stifle Internet innovation (Video)


Jeff Pulver, who pioneered telephone service over the Internet, talks about why it’s important to celebrate the day 20 years ago when the Internet was privatized.



reed hundt

Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt talks at an Internet Independence Day reception about the decisions made in the 1990s that led to an explosion of innovation.








Kent Hoover
Washington Bureau Chief

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VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver spent Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill talking to congressional staff about the threat to innovation posed by the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to apply utility-style regulation to the Internet.

Then he went over that evening to the Center for Strategic and International Studies to join other so-called “tech elders” for what amounted to a geek reunion: a celebration of the day, 20 years ago, when the NSFNET backbone was decommissioned and the Internet was privatized.

Lobbying Capitol Hill and celebrating Internet Independence Day are connected in Pulver’s mind, because the federal government’s decision to apply a light regulatory touch to the Internet in the 1990s unleashed “so much innovation and opportunity.” That innovation is threatened, Pulver thinks, by the FCC’s approach to net neutrality.

“I believe we owe it to our future generations to offer the same opportunities for them that we had for ourselves,” said Pulver, who co-founded Vonage and the Zula mobile app.

“Policymakers should do everything to protect the open Internet — no one argues that — but we are doing the American public a disservice if we insist that the FCC’s approach is the best one,” he said. “It not only disregards the past 20 years of success of a private Internet treated as an information service, it ignores the lessons learned a decade ago in the process that led to the ‘Pulver Order’ in 2004.”

In that case, the FCC ruled, “after 10 years of deliberating and hindering investment,” that voice services such as Pulver’s Free World Dialup were not telecommunications services subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.




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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 3, 2015 at 3:13 am

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3 VoIP phone systems that don’t need special phones

VoIP business phone solutions provide all the traditional and advanced features of a traditional phone system (conference calling, free 800 number, unlimited U.S. calling, call recording, automated directory, etc.) at a fraction of the cost.

Instead of using traditional phone service, calls are routed over the Internet, which costs quite a bit less. With a good Internet connection, calls are just as clear as with traditional hard-wired lines.

In general, the monthly costs for VoIP solutions are quite a bit cheaper than traditional phone systems. A comparison of business VoIP providers by Fit Small Business shows the monthly costs for 10 employees ranges between $155 and $235.

The main upfront cost is buying the VoIP-compatible phones. However, there are three VoIP solutions that do not even require you to purchase phones, making them even cheaper. Although they do not always provide the full range of features available with a full-featured VoIP solution, they can be a great low-cost alternative for small businesses looking for a basic VoIP solution on the cheap.

1. Basic VoIP system: Ooma

Ooma is one of the VoIP solutions that does not require you to use IP phones. Ooma allows you to use your traditional phone or routes calls to your cellular/mobile device. If you use traditional phones, you will need to get a wireless adapter, which makes it possible to use the phones with Ooma’s VoIP system.

Of the three VoIP solutions discussed in this article, Ooma is the lightest on features. Plans come with an automated receptionist/directory, call queuing, a find me/follow me feature, conference calling (extra fee), online faxing (extra fee) and voicemail transcription. But it does not include features such as call recording, video calls, CRM integration, and call scheduling. Another negative of Ooma is that it has the most reviewers’ complaints of poor call quality and call dropping.

2. Mobile solution: Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a light-featured VoIP solution that uses your cell phone as the main hub for your business phone needs. Instead of having to pay for phones and phone service, all of your phone activities are routed to you/your employee’s cell/mobile phone. Customers can call one business number and you can set it so that your auto directory or receptionist routes the call to the appropriate employee’s cell phone. You can also purchase separate number for each cell, it just costs an additional $5 per number per month.

Grasshopper has some solid features, including an auto-directory/receptionist, call queuing, a find me/follow me feature, call scheduling, conference calls and voicemail transcription. You can also receive faxes on your phone, but not send them. Grasshopper does have some limitations. It does not integrate with any CRMs, work with video calling or allow you to record and store calls.

3. Most complete solution: Phone.com

Phone.com is the most complete VoIP solution available that still allows you to get by without purchasing IP phones. In fact, with Phone.com, you can use most any device you want, whether it is your computer, your mobile phone or your traditional phone (with adapter). Being one of the major players in the space, Phone.com has the best reputation of the three as far as customer service and call quality is concerned.

Phone.com has pretty much all the features you could want, including an auto-receptionist/directory, call queuing, a find me/follow me feature, call scheduling, conference calling, online fax (send/receive), voicemail to email, voicemail transcription and call recording. The only things Phone.com lacks are CRM integration and video calling. Phone.com is also a great choice for international calling, because they allow you to purchase international numbers starting as low as $5 per month and have great national rates.

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 2, 2015 at 3:05 am

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VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver fears FCC will stifle Internet innovation (Video)


Jeff Pulver, who pioneered telephone service over the Internet, talks about why it’s important to celebrate the day 20 years ago when the Internet was privatized.



reed hundt

Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt talks at an Internet Independence Day reception about the decisions made in the 1990s that led to an explosion of innovation.








Kent Hoover
Washington Bureau Chief

Email
 | 
Twitter
 | 
Google

VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver spent Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill talking to congressional staff about the threat to innovation posed by the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to apply utility-style regulation to the Internet.

Then he went over that evening to the Center for Strategic and International Studies to join other so-called “tech elders” for what amounted to a geek reunion: a celebration of the day, 20 years ago, when the NSFNET backbone was decommissioned and the Internet was privatized.

Lobbying Capitol Hill and celebrating Internet Independence Day are connected in Pulver’s mind, because the federal government’s decision to apply a light regulatory touch to the Internet in the 1990s unleashed “so much innovation and opportunity.” That innovation is threatened, Pulver thinks, by the FCC’s approach to net neutrality.

“I believe we owe it to our future generations to offer the same opportunities for them that we had for ourselves,” said Pulver, who co-founded Vonage and the Zula mobile app.

“Policymakers should do everything to protect the open Internet — no one argues that — but we are doing the American public a disservice if we insist that the FCC’s approach is the best one,” he said. “It not only disregards the past 20 years of success of a private Internet treated as an information service, it ignores the lessons learned a decade ago in the process that led to the ‘Pulver Order’ in 2004.”

In that case, the FCC ruled, “after 10 years of deliberating and hindering investment,” that voice services such as Pulver’s Free World Dialup were not telecommunications services subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.




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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 1, 2015 at 11:04 pm

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Mobile VoIP and the Shocking Effect of 1 Billion VoLTEs

To understand the scintillating humor of the title (ho ho!), you’ll need to know what VoLTE is. Besides being held up as the future of mobile communications, VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE – and LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. Let’s backtrack a little to find out what’s going on.

Underneath It All, There’s IP                                                                                                                

The story starts with LTE, a wireless broadband technology developed to provide 4G communications. 4G calls made with mobiles allow for faster data rates and reduced latency compared to earlier technologies like 3G. Whether or not the full name of Long Term Evolution is appropriate remains to be seen, but that is how the engineers who developed LTE called it. The upper layers of LTE look like TCP/IP. A-ha, you say, TCP/IP is a basic building block of the web communications. And you’re right. Not only that, but IP (Internet Protocol) is a component of VoIP, which stands for Voice over IP.

The ‘Wire-Like’ Promise of LTE

Now things will hopefully be a little clearer. Voice calls from conventional phones (or VoIP phones) can now be routed over the Internet using VoIP, instead of the traditional phone network. Voice calls from mobile phones are starting to be routed over the LTE network, instead of the ‘traditional’ mobile voice network. Certain large communications providers have already announced VoLTE services. The overall LTE promise to mobile users who have the right mobile devices is a ‘wire-like’ experience wherever they are, combining data, voice, video and messaging capabilities. Advantages also include better voice communication quality (HD or High Definition audio) and the efficient use of collaboration apps between mobile users wherever they are.

Will 1 Billion VoIP Users Generate 1 Billion VoLTES?

VoLTE is effectively MoIP or mobile over IP. Mobile VoIP is a part of that. A move to VoLTE could also be a big deal because of the continuing growth of the smartphone market. A rapid renewal rate is also bringing in smartphones with the latest technology. A recent forecast from Juniper Research suggests that one billion people will use mobile VoIP by 2017. A large part of those users are likely to use free smartphone apps that make use of Wi-Fi connections, another solution for MVoIP. The percentage that uses VoLTE will depend on how communications providers structure their service charges.

Money, Money, Money

As a comparison, VoIP for conventional phones often allows users to eliminate call charges – or at least to replace them with a flat monthly fee. That means no limitation on the number of calls made or in many cases the countries to which those calls are made. VoLTE does not yet appear to be at that stage of illuminated thinking. Providers have been heading down the route of making VoLTE calls count against your mobile phone subscription minutes. Users still need to keep an eye on their usage if they don’t want the temptation of better audio and faster data in their calls to wipe out their minutes and data allowances every month. Ah, the price of progress!

Hadley Jones

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Posted by CheapVOIPs - May 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

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