In case you aren’t aware VoipReview.org is a VoIP comparison shopping site for consumers and soon, businesses Eric Laughlin the CEO had a chance to answer some recent questions I had about the site and how he feels about the VoIP industry in general.
There are just so many new VoIP sites on the market it is tough to keep track. This is good news for consumers and businesses as there is more and more good information on the market to help everyone make intelligent purchasing decisions. Here is the interview with Eric Laughlin
Why did you start this site?
VoipReview.org was born out of personal frustration with the lack of information about VoIP providers. I wanted to subscribe to VoIP service, but couldn’t find any searchable database to find and compare all providers. Essentially, the site was launched to fill a need for objective and searchable information on VoIP providers.
How is it going?
It’s clear from the site’s success that there was indeed a big information gap to fill. We are energized by the number of daily visitors who come to find and compare VoIP providers, and the number of providers who list their calling plans on the site.
What differentiates the site from others?
A few of the primary differences:
-VoipReview.org lists each and every provider, regardless of whether they pay to be involved.
-The site has the first and largest searchable database of VoIP providers, including calling plans from more than 60 VoIP providers.
-All provider reviews are written and posted by actual VoIP users, providing the most accurate information. Users are always the best critics!
How do you see the industry shaping up?
Some noteworthy industry trends:
– Mass adoption of both phone line replacement services (i.e. Sunrocket and Vonage) and IM services (i.e Skype) will continue to accelerate.
– In the next few years, the convergence of wireless voice and VoIP will begin to result in least-cost routing solutions.
– Eventually, all telephony will be IP.
How do you get traffic to the site?
Web traffic results primarily from search engines and word of mouth. VoipReview.org also partners with companies like CNet.com to power their VoIP search engines.
What are the biggest advantages of VoIP for consumers?
1. Price. You can’t beat the price for local, long distance, or international calls. According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, people who have adopted VoIP service save up to $50 each month on their phone bills.
2. More free features. Most providers offer caller ID, voice mail, call waiting, 3-way calling, and a bundle of other features as part of their flat-rate price plans.
3. Flexibility and convenience. Users can keep their existing phone numbers, and even make and receive local calls when traveling domestically or internationally. If they move, they simply plug the device into an Internet connection to get up and running.
Do you think talking about 911 issues is important for consumers?
The issue seems to be resolving with the recent regulations requiring providers to offer 911 service to all new customers. However, consumers should still be aware that they must update their 911 address with their service provider if they change locations. And, they should also be aware that if their Internet connection or power source goes down, so does their phone service.
Also, some consumers don’t understand the difference between phone line replacement and IM based services. They should be aware that you don’t get 911 with services such as Skype or Yahoo IM.
Does the site plan on focusing more on WiFi telephony?
Yes. As providers offer more WiFi enabled devices, VoipReview.org will begin to provide more information about WiFi, including the capability to “Search WiFi Equipment by Provider.”
There you have it, some good feedback from someone in the trenches of VoIP comparisons. One of the things that was mentioned by Eric is the convenience of VoIP services – something consumers don’t usually realize. I suppose as prices between the PSTN and VoIP narrow, perhaps convenience will be a more important driver for VoIP adoption.