Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Vonage Broadband VoIP service provider

Vonage to replace CEO Jeffrey Citron

July 25, 2008

Vonage UK launches new low cost V-Plan calling plans

July 24, 2008

Vonage today announced two new low cost call plans for their Vonage UK subsidiary. According to Vonage UK, "Following customer research and reacting directly to consumer concern about increasing household costs and spiraling business overheads, Vonage has created two new fixed rate call plans."

They added, "Vonage subscribers report enormous savings on their monthly bills and comment on the speed and ease of swapping providers as well as installing Vonage. The new call plans fly in the face of increasing utility prices and the new £6.99 plan has been designed for the high percentage of Vonage consumers requesting more cost efficient plans for North America."

Vonage's £7.99, £14.99 and £18.99 plans incorporating up to 45 countries remain unchanged. The two new call plans offer Vonage's lowest ever rates and are called V-Plan UK and V-Plan US.

• £5.99 per month - unlimited calls to the UK (V-Plan UK)
- Premium features such as call waiting, caller ID, call diversion, voicemail, three way calling (normally billed as extras with other providers), are included as standard.

Packet8 675xi VoIP for the SMB

July 24, 2008

I missed the 8x8/Packet8 news on July 16th about its new hosted small office "key" system and plug-and-play IP phones. Joan Citelli, Director of Corporate Communications emailed me asking for a briefing, but apparently I never replied since her email was still marked as unread and nothing in my Sent Items. Email overload I guess. The news was about 8x8, working with handset maker Aastra Telecom to provide a key system to the SMB market,which is part of the new Packet8 675xi series.

I happened to come across Carolyn Schuk's article while surfing the web and came across her post about some 8x8 news that I missed.

ACN IRIS 3000 Videophone & The State of the Videophone

July 15, 2008

I've come across the new ACN IRIS 3000 videophone a few times recently and thought I'd write about them. I'm a big fan of videophones even if there doesn't seem to be any true adoption of industry standards that lets one videophone talk/video to another. Not to mention I reported first how Vonage's OEM'ed videophone, VisiFone, from Viseon hit the scrap heap due to Viseon's implosion. I was hoping to see Vonage's VisiFone interoperate with Packet8's Videophone, which I reviewed back in 2004.

Comcast - We won't block Vonage or any other VoIP provider

July 10, 2008

According to eFluxMedia, Comcast is "working on rehabilitating its name and implementing reasonable management techniques through a new partnership with VoIP service provider Vonage." Vonage and Comcast said they will work on ensuring adequate management techniques to avoid network congestion to ensure high quality VoIP services.

I should point out that Comcast tarnished their own reputation when they intentionally degraded P2P traffic, particularly Bittorrent, a heavy bandwidth application. According to a 36 page thread on the Vonage Forums that dates back to 2006, Comcast was accused of degrading Vonage's voice over IP quality intentionally. Comcat has denied these charges, but many Comcast users that have Vonage have had issues.

Whether conspiracy or not, now Vonage and Comcast stated they will have a "direct line of communications" between their network operations centers to resolve customer issues.

AT&T Dropping CallVantage?

July 3, 2008

Just got this email stating that as of July 7th, AT&T will no longer offer CallVantage through their affiliate channel. To me, this is "codeword" for "we're no longer promoting CallVantage and expect AT&T to end CallVantage entirely in the near future." I've read about many affiliate programs that when they're ended, it's the end of the road for that product. Further, the emails explains, "We ask that you remove all of your promotion of the CallVantage product on/before July 7th and we recommend that you swap out your creative to another of our product offerings such as High Speed DSL or our latest flagship product, UVerse."

Now tell me that doesn't hint towards the end of the road for CallVantage. So current CallVantage affiliates are supposed to promote High Speed DSL which has little to do with VoIP phone service?

T-Mobile USA T-Mobile@Home VoIP Service

June 26, 2008

T-Mobile USA is going to launch next week a $10-a-month broadband VoIP service that will be available to T-Mobile wireless subscribers. The VoIP service is called T-Mobile@Home, granting users unlimited local and long-distance calls over a broadband connection. They've partnered with Cisco's Linksys for the $50 ATA device to connect analog phones.

Features include the usual suspects: call waiting, caller ID, three-way conferencing, voicemail and call forwarding. You will be able port your existing home phone number, and you can also add a second voice line.

The move poses a challenge to traditional carriers, cable TV operators that offer bundled services, and and single-play VoIP providers like Vonage and Packet8.

This is T-Mobile USA's first foray into the fixed line market after being exclusively wireless.

VonagePro for Business

May 13, 2008

It appears that Vonage is looking for a Director of Product Management for  VonagePro, a service I had never heard of until today. I just happened to notice the VonagePro job listing on Hmm... - "Requires bachelor's degree in computer science or electrical engineering or equivalent combination of education and experience." I've got those credentials! 

Covad Vonage Deal Redux

May 8, 2008

I was emailing industry analyst Jon Arnold about some things and mentioned I quoted him in my post this morning about the Covad & Vonage partnership and the resulting product offering called/branded "Vonage Broadband" and soon to be carried by Covad.

He wrote back with some interesting insights of his own regarding the deal and wonders if it's a good move or one of desperation. That thought had crossed my mind as well and I nearly blogged as such in my earlier post.

Jon mentioned he would like to blog about this deal, but he's pretty busy. Nevertheless, he provided me via email some of his initial thoughts that I thought were worth sharing:

Really concerned about their rising churn - not good. Interesting move with Covad.

South Korea Blocks VoIP - here we go again...

May 8, 2008

Do you recall my 2006 post about South Korea wanting to ban VoIP, which would also include U.S. military bases and military personnel serving in South Korea? Well, according to today's Vonage Form thread it appears South Korea has taken a playbook from the Great Firewall of China and is now blocking U.S. military personnel from making inexpensive VoIP calls back to the U.S.

The Vonage forum thread was started by a U.S.

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