Calling Continues to Replace Conventional Service
By Michael Johnston
you look at the telecommunications landscape over the past
five years it is clear that VoIP Broadband Calling has taken
more then its fair share of the market.
Some industry analysis gave rosy predictions back in
2000 that 80% of all voice traffic would be via broadband
calling by 2005. Well
we are here and nowhere near 80% of calls are from and/or to
an IP based handset. Yet
about 50% of new lines provisioned today are IP lines so
that 80% figure will come some time in the future only when
is in question at this time.
Right now about 1.7 to 2 million new VoIP lines are
activated each quarter world wide.
At an average of 20 dollars a line across the board
this still small piece of the telecom pie still adds up to
over 40 Million Dollars in growth for the industry per
quarter and that number is growing every quarter.
what is fueling the growth?
Two answers, price and features and in that order are
driving the growth in broadband calling plans.
The big attraction is price for most first time
users. Want to have
some fun? Try this
little experiment call up your local phone company and tell
them you want the following unlimited calling to anywhere in
the United States and Canada, 3 cents a minute to places
like France, The United Kingdom and Germany.
Oh and donít forget to mention you want voicemail
and all the typical features like Caller ID, three way
calling, etc. Then
finish with a request that they provide this to you for less
then 20.00. Hold
the phone far away from you ear as the laughing on the other
end may be loud enough to hurt your ears.
with broadband calling from Packet8 and other providers you
will find just that with pricing plans from 19.95 Ė 24.99
on average. You
will also find features that your conventional phone
like a softphone where you can make calls from your lap top
when you travel, virtual fax numbers, local in bound numbers
in any major and most minor cities and many more.
all this going for VoIP Providers one may ask just why
havenít the predictions from the year 2000 come to pass.
Again we have two answers and they are broadband
internet availability and education of consumers.
Letís take a look at them one at a time.
First is education of the consumer and
many people still think of VoIP Broadband calling as some
high end techie thing. However
this is all one needs to have the ability to do in order to
Plug an adapter into your DSL Router / Cable Modem etc.
2. Plug the adapters power supply into an electrical outlet
3. Plug your telephone into the adapter
4. Pick up your telephone handset and dial any phone number
5. Follow the voice instructions and enter an activation
6. From that day forward you just make phone calls the same
old way you always have
Basically if you can open a box, plug in three cords and
make a phone call you are technically savvy enough to use
this service. It will be the websites like www.broad-band-phone.com,
that do the best job of conveying that message that will
convert the masses via education.
Great resources like Getting the Most From Broadband
Phone Services are also making the basics of this technology
easier for the average person to grasp.
If you need any additional assurance that VoIP is the
future of telecommunications in the coming years just know
that every major U.S. Telecommunications company either has
or is breaking their neck to roll out a VoIP Service
product. That alone shows the direction of the industry.
other main issue is the availability of broadband internet
now it is important to understand that broadband internet is
still in itsí infancy and that new technologies are going
to continue to drive it. Understand that in many places it
is still the local phone companies dictating who can provide
DSL on their cables and where they can provide it. The two
biggest new technologies to affect the market in the future
(certainly the next 2-3 years) are going to be fixed
wireless (mostly by the investment and energy of smaller
entrepreneurs bringing service to areas with no other
option) and broadband over power.
It is broadband over power that is going to make the biggest
impact because not only will a lot of consumers use this
service but as becomes available it will also spur
competition and reduced rates and the extension of distance
limitations by the current providers. In short the current
providers will be forced to adapt to remain competitive with
the new technologies. As
broadband over power technology evolves basically anyone
with electrical power will be able to get broadband internet
access from the electrical outlets in their home.
event you can rest assured the broadband calling will
continue to grow if you are wondering if this service is
right for you here are some excellent resources you can
One last note even those with out broad
band internet access can get better rates via VoIP
Networks. Two providers worth checking out include
2Speak and ZeroCents.
2Speak is mostly for the
international user with great rates for international
calls. 2Speak user log into an online account, enter a
number they wish to call and seconds later their phone rings, they
pick up and are connected across the 2Speak IP Backbone and
pay IP prices. ZeroCents is a dial around IP based
service for people in most areas of the US, customers dial a
local access number and then the number they wish to call
and their call goes over the ZeroCents Broadband Calling
network. This will provide the customer with unlimited
calling for 29.99 a month along with an impressive automated
One way or another the VoIP Genie is
out of the bottle and the conventional phone companies have
a lot to worry about while consumers are finally seeing real
competition for the first time since old Mr. Bell called for
Independent Contributing Editor