Earlier this week I read someone's comments regarding the new Google Voice free service. The essence of the article was that this free service was going to change the way telecommunications is delivered and sold in the US, and, perhaps, the world. I usually let this type of rhetoric flow over me like a cool breeze because it is not often that a new product changes the world. Moreover, I was confused by the assessment the writer gave the product. He noted that it was a little bit inconvenient to have to use a computer to make the call and the voice quality was less than desired. However, when given the chance to rate the call on a scale of one to three (three being best) he rated it a three.
I believe the rating was based on the objective point, the call was free, versus the subjective point, the voice quality of the call was below average.
As an ITSP, Broadvox runs into all kinds of situations where the quality of the broadband affects the voice quality of the call. We do our best to identify and address any factors affecting voice quality. We work hard to make the user's call experience as close to toll/TDM quality as possible. We want the quality of the call to deserve the rating of a three. The cost of the VoIP/SIP Trunking service should grab the attention but the voice quality should convince you to remain a customer.
Skype has also announced a recent public offering and several new products. Clearly, it does not intend to give up its leadership position in offering both free and for pay VoIP services. I, like many others, have used Skype. I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina the first time I used Skype. It remains a memorable experience because of the technology and the convenience of calling my wife without being concerned about the price of the call, or whether I could expense it. While I rated the call quality as average, I rated my overall experience with Skype as above average. My international traveling for business has ended and I have not used Skype for some time, but I assume that I am included in the estimated 560 million registered users. That is an incredible number until you see the number of paying users is only 8.1 million or 1.5 percent.
The IP community works to achieve one thing, making IP the way for businesses and consumers to experience a better life. From business processes to gaming to entertainment, this will involve many types of applications and services. I look forward to the "killer applications" that will allow IP communications to change the world. After all, changing the world is not an easy thing to do, but positive changes make it worth the while.
See you on Friday.