Skibare pointed me to a Yahoo news release about a dial-up VoIP adaptor from Nomad International. According to their numbers, over 80% of U.S. Internet subscribers are still on dial-up. I'm still not convinced that dial-up VoIP will have any market traction due to voice quality concerns. Heck, if I start any P2P client like eMule, BitTorrent, etc. on my home broadband connection my VoIP broadband service (Vonage) starts to suffer. I can't image what would happen if I used dial-up and then merely loaded a graphically-rich Web page.
And speaking of Vonage, Rich Tehrani, publisher of Internet Telephony Magazine (and my boss to boot) has a source telling him that BellSouth is looking into buying Vonage. This started a firestorm of controversy in the VoIP blogosphere with everyone putting their two cents in as to why this deal doesn't make sense and that Rich must be mad. Just go check out all the comments and trackbacks on Rich's blog.
Well, I can't confirm the rumor (yet), but I personally know Rich and he wouldn't make this stuff up. Rich Tehrani has been in telecom for over 20 years and he started the first VoIP magazine in 1998 when all the telecom companies told him he was "crazy" for publishing a magazine about VoIP technology primarily used by hobbyists. So it goes without saying that Rich has met a lot of people in the VoIP industry over the years and he has hundreds of "sources" in various VoIP companies. So I wouldn't bet against Rich Tehrani just yet.
In any event, here's the Nomad release about their dial-up SIP-compliant gateway.
Nomad International Inc. announced today it has sent out a number of units to select customers in the United States of its Nomad Pro dial-up Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) units for final testing, with additional units anticipated to be shipped.
The Nomad Pro is a SOHO and residential 1-port Dial-up or 1-port broadband SIP gateway, which is based on (SIP) RFC3261. The unit is Plug & Play including a default setting, always on/dial on demand features, Local and Remote Diagnostics, remote upgrade ability, Toll Quality Voice, Router with LAN port for Dial-up IP Sharing and also includes Life Line digit map for PSTN access.
The key to Nomad's entry into the VoIP market is the ability of its products such as the Nomad Pro to offer services to both broadband and dial-up customers. Though broadband is gaining more and more acceptance and utilization worldwide, dial-up remains the primary source of internet connectivity. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200,000,000 users of the internet. Of the total users in the U.S., the total number of users of broadband is only approximately 40,000,000 (stats by the Yankee Group); dial-up therefore represents approximately 80% of the entire internet connectivity market. The percentage of dial-up versus broadband users worldwide is even higher.
Nomad's ability to offer VoIP products to dial-up customers and service providers not only offers significant potential for market penetration, but also sets the Company apart from its competition in the marketplace by offering a unique, proprietary and easily adaptable product.