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

Packet8 adds CallerID with Name feature

June 6, 2006

Cash Back VoIP calling

February 14, 2006

Ironic, that Rich Tehrani (my boss) wrote in his Get Paid to VoIP entry today about how he is predicting that eventually people will be paid to talk using VoIP. Tsk tsk, Rich. You don't talk to me any more, because if you had, you would have known such a company already exists. Indeed, I am aware of one such company offering "cash back" to use their VoIP system. I've known about them for about a month, but have been too damn busy to give them a decent blog entry.

Vonage opens SIP credentials?

February 7, 2006

A source informed VoIP & Gadgets Blog that Vonage plans to open up their SIP credentials to enable users to configure their own SIP softphones and SIP hardphones to work with the Vonage service at no additional charge. Today Vonage still has kept the SIP credentials "closed" preventing users from using their own SIP devices with the Vonage service. One of the main reasons why Vonage has kept the SIP credentials "closed" is that they charge $9.99/month for their SIP softphone client, which then gives you access to your "personal SIP credentials". It comes with 500 minutes along with a different SIP URI and PSTN number than your main Vonage phone number.

Packet8 new features

February 2, 2006

Today Packet8 announced their rollout of some new features, as well as the Packet8 BPG510, a new terminal adapter with an integrated router.

The new Packet8 features include::

• Voicemail to Email Notification – Packet8 subscribers can now receive an email notification each time a voicemail message is left. The email can include an attached audio file of the actual message which can be forwarded to another email address or saved for future reference.

• Find Me, Follow Me – This combined hunting/multi-ringing feature allows subscribers to enter up to five phone numbers to ring in sequence.

Xpert VoIP sets $5 per month benchmark for VoIP

December 27, 2005

Xpert VoIP has set a new low in pricing plans with a low $5/month plan that comes with 200 minutes of calling time anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, Additional minutes are billed at 2.8 cents a minute, but the realy nice thing is that they cap it at a maximum of $24 a month, which is still $0.99 less than Vonage's unlimited plan ($24.99) should you be a heavy per-minute user on a particular month.

But for months where you have light usage, you aren't stuck shelling out the full $24.99 like you would with Vonage's unlimited plan. If you only use 200 minutes or less that's just $5/month you pay. Of course, most users will go over 200 minutes per month.

Skype commercializes Christmas

December 14, 2005

I don't usually gripe when VoIP vendors use Christmas as a means to promote and commercialize their products, as long as it is in "taste". For instance, Packet8 for the past fews years has promoted (via press releases) the fact that you can use the Packet8 videophone to call and SEE Santa Claus. Now that is cool and certainly newsworthy. Some parents might even buy the Packet8 videophone just so their kids can call Santa Claus.

But what annoyed me this morning was a press release by Skype that starts by saying, "Skype, the global Internet communications company, today announced the latest Skype certified products available in retail stores and online in time for the holidays.

Packet8 e911 Coverage Map

December 1, 2005

Someone posted a comment to a recent blog post of mine regarding what I considered the FCC's "impossible e911 mandate" and said, "Quit your whining about poor old Vonage. If Packet8 can meet the FCC mandate, then every other VoIP company should be required to do so - or accept their punishment."

He got suckered into believing the "spin" that Packet8 has put out in their press releases, making it "seem" like Packet8 is completely e911-compliant. But as I replied in the comments to that blog post, the truth is another story. Packet8 used some carefully crafted words in their press release to make it seem like they were 100% e-911 compliant.

FCC just doesn't understand your Lingo

November 29, 2005

I was notified by a VoIP affiliate program that they are no longer carrying Lingo within their VoIP affiliate portfolio due to e911 requirements by the FCC. Lingo does not currently conform to e911 requirements and therefore they are restricting their marketing efforts. As you probably were aware, the FCC order specifically prohibits marketing and acquiring new customers for any VoIP provider that is not e911 compliant. So does this mean the end for Lingo or any similar VoIP provider?

SBC wants to extort VoIP service providers

October 31, 2005

Russell Shaw's blog brought to my attention an interesting BusinessWeek article quoting SBC CEO Edward Whitacre where he basically says in so many words, "VoIP providers will have to 'pay to play' on SBC's broadband pipes". Check out the exact quote from the article.

How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them.

Packet8 is in the Christmas spirit

October 12, 2005

Packet8 is certainly in the Christmas holiday spirit early. It's not even Halloween or even Thanksgiving yet they're offering a special of two videophones at just $99 each or $198 total. They even have a bad Christmas pun - "Be elfish! Buy a Videophone for you and for someone you love this holiday season." Well, check out this email I just got:

Be Elfish!

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