Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Vonage Broadband VoIP service provider

Vonage offers enhanced 411 directory assistance

February 21, 2006

Vonage has selected Excell Services to provide its customers with Enhanced Directory Assistance Services (411), including movie listings, stock quotes, sports scores and more. This also includes regular number queries as well as address and reverse searches. In additio, Vonage customers now have access to Directory Assistance services for all of North America as well as many international destinations through the Excell Services network.

No word on pricing or if it tells you how much you will pay BEFORE giving you the information. Nothing like opening your monthly bill and noticing you're getting "shafted" by expensive directing listing information.

OfficeMax to offer Vonage business offering

February 21, 2006

OfficeMax, one of the nation's largest office supply retailers and distributors, is now offering small businesses "starter kits" from Vonage. OfficeMax is offering the Linksys PAP2 Phone Adapter or the WRTP54G Wireless Router, configured with Vonage's $49.99 per month Small Business Unlimited plan.

I wonder just how many businesses actually use Vonage for their phone provider? Although I trust Vonage for my home residential line with some minor quirks here and there (choppy voice, busy tone when dialing), I'm not sure I'd be willing to put up with those "quirks" if I ran a business.

Maybe once Vonage goes IPO they'll open their books and we'll find out exactly how many business customers they have. Actually, they have to open up their books now before the IPO but I don't believe that information is made publicly available.

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 IPO to raise $250 million

February 8, 2006

Yesterday, I wrote about a source informing me that Vonage plans on opening their SIP credentials. The source also mentioned that Vonage planned on waiting to drop the $9.99/month requirement to get SIP credentials until AFTER their IPO offering since they wanted the softphone users on the "balance sheets" for a better IPO. (Many Vonage users sign up for the softphone just to get access to the SIP credentials to use with SIP hardphones) He even said the IPO would be coming "very soon", but with so many rumors about a Vonage IPO, I decided not to mention it in my blog yesterday. If only I knew HOW soon.

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.

Avaya and Vonage strange bedfellows

January 12, 2006

Today Vonage, along with three other companies, was recognized by Avaya with the new Avaya Intelligent Communications Innovation Award "for their innovative approaches to weave communications into the fabric of their business". Maybe it's just me, but Avaya and Vonage seems like strange bedfellows. Just wait till Vonage finally targets the SMB market and competes with an Avaya IP-PBX, then we'll see if Avaya gives Vonage any future Innovation awards.

Actually, you can get Vonage lines with a business VoIP account using a few standard ATAs, but you still don't get advanced PBX functionality such as 3-digit extension-to-extension dialing and transfers. Although, I suppose an Avaya IP-PBX could use Vonage for the IP-trunking, so maybe they're not competitive after all.

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.

What's wrong with Vonage?

December 23, 2005

What's wrong with Vonage? Oh let me count the ways...

First, they've been promising the Viseon video phone for I about a year and it's still hard if not impossible to get. In fact, I checked my trusty email archives and found this email dated December 4, 2004 - "Vonage(R) Announces Partnership with Viseon to Develop Videophone Service". Ok, you announced the partnership in 2004 and it's almost 2006?

Vonage finally lauches the UTStarcom F1000 WiFi phone

December 13, 2005

Vonage and UTStarcom Inc. today finally launched the F1000, a portable Wi-Fi phone handset manufactured by UTStarcom and configured with Vonage's VoIP phone service. This product, which will offer mobility across 802.11b networks, is now available at for $129.99 with a $50 instant rebate for a total of $79.99.

The F1000 Wi-Fi handset will be configured with Vonage's standard call features: three-way calling, call waiting, repeat dial on busy, call forwarding to user assigned number, call hold/resume, voicemail, call rejecting/redial/mute and Caller ID based on phone book entries. It will also include phone book favorites with distinctive ring options including: silent, vibrate and selectable ring tones. Users will be able to configure and save Wi-Fi profiles for ease of connectivity.

NENA Interim/Migratory I2 Standard Published

December 8, 2005

Some important news to share regarding e911 and VoIP. While this is a step in the right direction, the FCC still needs to clarify its position on e911 and give the VoIP service providers time to be in compliance with the FCC e911 mandate. Nevertheless, Vonage is continuing to market to new customers in spite of the FCC order not to and I've yet to hear of the FCC cracking down on Vonage with any sort of fine. Looks like the FCC's bark is worse than its bite.

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