I just got some interesting news this morning. Apparently, Voiceglo and eDonkey have partnered to offer Internet Phone service to millions of eDonkey network users. Personally, I'm a fan of the open-source eMule client called eMule Plus.
Looking at the press release (pasted below) it's unclear if VoiceGlo actually leverages the eDonkey P2P network or if VoiceGlo simply bundles their software client with the eDonkey program. If it does use the P2P eDonkey network, then VoiceGlo has "one upped" Skype, which uses its own proprietary P2P network of users.
Unfortunately, it looks to me that VoiceGlo is simply a client download on the eDonkey network and not integrated into the eDonkey network in any fashion. It would be cool if Voiceglo copied Skype's technology which uses P2P to optimize the voice over IP traffic (i.e. each P2P client dynamically participates in traffic routing, processing and bandwidth intensive tasks that would otherwise be handled by central servers.)
Here's the release:
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (JULY 26, 2004) – Voiceglo, a global, full-service Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications company, today announced an exclusive strategic distribution agreement for its innovative PC and Web-based phone product – the GloPhone with eDonkey, a leading global P2P network provider. Through this partnership, GloPhone will now be available on the eDonkey network, enabling its customers to use the Internet to make and receive low cost – even free – phone calls throughout the world.
Along with the Mp3, video and data files shared on the P2P network, over 2.7 million eDonkey users worldwide will now be able to also download the GloPhone and connect with friends and family anywhere - without experiencing the high phone bills that traditionally accompany long distance calling. eDonkey is currently the leader for P2P networking in Asia, Europe and Africa and is becoming the dominant P2P provider in the United States.
“With eDonkey’s dominant global presence in the peer-to-peer community, we will be able to expand VoIP offerings even further, giving more people throughout the world the opportunity to communicate more often and for less money,” said Edward Cespedes, president, Voiceglo. “Members of the peer-to-peer community already interact with each other through the sharing of music and movies. Now the GloPhone will give them one more way to communicate with one another in a more personal and cost-effective way.”
“We are excited to be able to help get GloPhone out to the end users,“ said Sam Yagan, president, eDonkey. “Peer to peer technology offers software companies an unsurpassed method of distribution reaching millions of consumers willing and able to try new technology.”
Voiceglo assigns all GloPhone customers a U.S. phone number that can be used through any Internet-enabled computer anywhere in the world for local, long distance and international calling. Through its proprietary patent-pending GloPhone product, Voiceglo provides subscribers with a way to call each other for free (i.e. peer-to-peer calling) through their broadband or dial-up Internet connection.
Through upgraded calling plans, customers can call or receive calls from anyone outside of their peer-to-peer network, using GloPhone much like a traditional telephone. Subscribers can opt for conventional phone features such as voice mail, call waiting, call forwarding, missed call information, caller ID and conference calling for significantly lower cost than traditional phone company services.