Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Packet8 broadband VoIP

Packet8 Outage Sunday

July 26, 2007

Looks like Packet8 has scheduled maintenance which may cause intermittent outages this Sunday. Funny how the regular phone company doesn't tell you they might be offline for a few hours. Probably because regular phone companies rarely are offline. They invented that whole 5 9's (99.999%) of reliability thing.

Ooma Free Phone Calls

July 19, 2007

Ooma, a new VoIP provider, hopes to bring voice calling everywhere closer to "free". In fact, Ooma offers 100% free domestic U.S. calling using your standard analog/cordless phone to any domestic destination. (They charge for international) I'm sure Vonage, Packet8, and other broadband VoIP players aren't too thrilled with this.

With Ooma you shell out mad money - $399 - which gets you a sleek Ooma Hub with lifetime free local and long distance service.

Packet8 Outlook Toolbar

June 5, 2007

Packet8 launched some new features today, including Virtual Office Outlook Integration. Virtual Office Outlook Integration lets you call your Microsoft Outlook contacts. The way it works is that when placing a call through Microsoft Outlook, Outlook contacts the Virtual Office server and triggers it to ring the Virtual Office phone on the user's desk.In addition, incoming calls are displayed with screen pops based on your Outlook Contacts and it culls the contact info from any mailbox and any field (Business/Home/Mobile). Outlook Integration also places a button on your Outlook program so you can place calls directly from your address book.

All Virtual Office customers can download Virtual Office's Outlook Integration software at no extra charge.

Packet8 Planned Outage Today

May 4, 2007

VoIP Avoids State Regulation

March 21, 2007

A U.S. appeals court today upheld a decision that exempted VoIP telephone companies such as Vonage, Sunrocket, Packet8, and others from many state regulations and oversight.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit backed a 2004 decision by the FCC that exempted VoIP telephone companies from rate regulation and from being required to seek certification before offering service.

New VoIP Call Recording Software for Mac OS X

February 12, 2007

Tomorrow, Arcosoft will release VONaLink SoloRecord, a new VoIP call recording software program for Mac OS X. VONaLink SoloRecord for Mac OS X works with any VoIP phone system utilizing the SIP standard to record calls and to provide screen pops. SIP-based IP-PBXs, such as Cisco Call Manager, or pbxnSIP or even home broadband VoIP services such as Vonage or Packet8 that utilize the SIP standard will work with this call recording software.

Also available is a separate ScreenPop product, if recording is not required. SoloRecord and ScreenPop were previously available only for Windows. The call is recorded as a stereo WAV or MP3.

V-Global Communications Dialer uses PSTN-to-VoIP-to-PSTN

January 29, 2007

I just came across a VoIP product that is somewhat similar to the PhoneGnome product, called the V-Global Dialer from V-Global Communications. The V-Global Dialer offers a programable, least-cost call router that sends long distance calls over a standard phone line to its 100% VoIP network for termination.  The V-Global call router is offered commercially for $19.99 with $10.00 of talk time as a "Dialer".

Technically, the PhoneGnome analogy is a bit off, since the PhoneGnome can route over your existing PSTN (if local call) or use VoIP termination via it's Ethernet port (true Voice over IP). The V-Global Dialer doesn't sport an Ethernet port.

Packet8 Videophone update

October 12, 2006

I have some more info about the new Packet8 videophone I wrote about earlier today. I met with Packet8 and asked them about this new product. In my previous post, I stated I heard it will support H.263 -- in fact, it will actually support the better H.264 standard. It will indeed be much smaller than the current Packet8 videophone.

New Packet8 videophone coming

October 12, 2006

Sources at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo tell me that a new $150 Packet8 videophone will be launched at CES. I really liked the original Packet8 VideoPhone, which I reviewed here. The original Packet8 Videophone retailed for $299, so Packet8 is certainly bringing the pricepoint of videphones down with their pending $150 videophone. Though my guess is that the videophone is subsidized by requiring customers to sign up for a minimum 1-year contract or more.

Pure VoIP vs. Telephone and Cable VoIP

August 16, 2006 wrote an interesting article put out as a press release on Titled "Pure VoIP Vs. Telecom VoIP: Guidance from", the article takes a position that pure VoIP players such as Vonage, Packet8, SunRocket, etc. are a better value than telecom VoIP providers, such as cable companies and telephony carriers. First, a caveat, is a provider of pure VoIP, so their opinion is going to obviously have a bias.

The articles accurately states, "VoIP services vary widely from provider to provider, however there is an undeniable line in the sand that divides pure VoIP from the digital voice plans rolled out by the telecos.

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