Have You Tried VoIP Yet - Perhaps You Should

If you've ever used eBay, then you'll be hearing about something called VoIP soon, eBay just having bought a company called Skype for a couple of £billion. In fact, I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experimented with Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony yet?

I installed Skype this morning, it’s free and all you need is a headset. PC to PC calls are free and if you want to call landline or mobile numbers, you can buy credits, minimum ten Euros, which gets you an awful lot of talk time at a fraction of conventional phone calls. One can see why the big telcos are running scared and why the likes of Microsoft and Google are enthusiastically launching into the IP telephony business.

In case you think it’s difficult to set-up, it’s not. Download the installation file from http://www.skype.com/ and make sure you have a microphone headset, about £20 from PC World et al plugged in to your PC. Once installed, the Skype software will help you test your connection and the you’re away, rather like Microsoft’s Instant Messenger and can strike-up a conversation with any friends who happen to be online with Skype, anywhere across the globe, for free if they are in front of a broadband connected PC. For ten Euros more you can buy your own Skype number, so your PC "Switchboard" can be dialled directly from any other PC or phone. I just tried it. The sound quality is a little tinny but it seems to work fine and for zero or near zero call cost, I’m not complaining.

One rather neat benefit is that if you happen to be using a laptop, connected to a Wifi link in a hotel or airport lounge, you can use your PC as a mobile phone and without the related costs. For me, that makes a lot of sense, calling home from hotels in the middle-east where the termination costs on my mobile phone can be outrageous.


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Anonymous said…
Something doesn't quite compute here? In your profile you use the term "technology analyst" yet this post seems to imply you've only just discovered VOiP. Well I have to say that as a consultant and adviser in the field of information technology I would have expected you to have known that BT tehmselves are big users of VOiP. In fact it's all over the place. Kent Innovation center in Broadstairs installed a system when they opened. If you make any international phone calls, chances are they are converted to VOiP and carried across fiber optics cables as encapsulated digital packets,,,,
DrMoores said…
It shouldn't imply discovery beyond practically "playing" with the technology at a working level which doesn't involve causing a headache! I've done - published - some minor stuff on VoIP.. i.e. when CNN put their special report together on the subject a few months ago, they called me for some ideas. 17th October at Westminster, I'll be presenting 21st Century Networks to MPs et al in the evening at Portcullis House.

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