Primus, the US subsidiary of Primus Telecommunications Group announced that they have
expanded their Lingo Voice Over IP (VoIP) to 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Primus is currently offering “service free for the first 3-months
to encourage users to try an alternative to their conventional telephone company”
Similar to other VoIP service providers, Lingo allows you to connect your regular
telephones through an analog telephone adapter (ATA) to your high speed broadband
According to Primus, the benefits are VoIP are not just the price. but additional
features. According to their recent
news release ”Besides the savings, even more compelling for
many Lingo customers is the access to a group of features not typically offered by
the traditional telephone company — like voicemail to e-mail delivery, call forwarding,
and distinctive ring tones. Customers like the easy Web-based portal we provide which
allows them to tailor these features to their lifestyle, and they love the fact that
they do not pay additional charges and fees for these features. “
For more information on Lingo, visit the Primus Lingo site here.
AT&T is expanding it’s Callvantage(tm) voice
over internet protocol (VOIP) services to more markets across the
. The service is currently available in over 70 markets, including
and expanding to 100 by October.
As with many other VOIP services, AT&T
provides a hardware device known as a terminal adapter that connects your regular
telephone into your high speed broadband internet service. A 6 month promotional rate
of $19.95 per month is currently being offered.
While the Callvantage(tm) service appears
targeted primarily at residential customers, AT&T also offers a variety of VOIP
services for all sizes of businesses. More information is available through their VOIP
‘s second-largest cable-TV provider recently announced a deal with telecommunications
to offer voice over internet protocol telephone services.
will be providing wholesales services including access to the public switched telephone
network (PSTN) and long distance facilities.
Canadian consumers are being offered
a variety of services in this technology area as more companies begin offering service. Vonage recently
expanded it’s service offering from the
and Primus currently offers their TalkBroadband
based Shift Networks offers services targeted at small to mid size businesses providing
telephone lines and related services over high speed internet lines.
These new services mean both increased
competition for telephone companies such as Telus and Bell Canada, but also represent
a variety of exciting features and flexibility for consumers and businesses.
After a full week of having my Nextel Wireless Broadband service and card, I must
say that so far I’m currently a very happy customer. The coverage within the coverage
area that I have traveled is excellent. I have found that in some large buildings
the signal is unavailable, but so far this has been rare. In an unplanned experiment
on Friday I used the service to listen to the live .Net Rocks broadcast while traveling
about 20 miles. The coverage during the trip was solid and I never a missed a minute
of Rory and Carl’s interview of the Channel9 team.
[It should be noted, that Nextel and Flarion do a great job
and make very clear that this device, as with other mobile devices such as cell phones
is not designed for user while driving and should only be used when it is safe to
do so. In my case, my Tablet PC sitting on the seat next to me acted like a radio
without any need for direct attention. Be safe with your mobile devices!]
I have been very impressed with the speed of the device. I seem to typically see speeds
of around 900kbps with bursts higher. In areas with very low signal the speed has
dropped down into the 400-500 range, which is still faster than many other wireless
services. Top speeds have been in excess of 1mbs, and for much of the week has actually
been better than the performance of my cable modem, which despite marketing claims
of now being twice as fast, has been performing pretty poorly the lately.
Overall I think this product is a great solution. I understand that Nextel is still
investigating other wireless technologies before committing to building a national
network, but if this is the minimum we have to look forward to, the future of wireless
broadband is extremely exciting.
If there are any other software developers out there looking at targeting this type
of mobile platform, drop me a note. I think this is a great area of opportunity for
field service, real estate, other industries on the go.
Canadian cellular service provider Telus is
apparently the first to sign on to use an innovative new style of keyboard called
“Fastap” developed by Digit Wireless.
The phones are to be manufactured by LG and distributed
in Canada by Telus. For more details see the press release here.
For delivery details check with your local Telus
Mobility Dealer. Soon we’ll need to start to sharpen our fingers!
January 25, 1925
Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, and his assistant, Thomas
A. Watson, talk by telephone to each other over a 3,400-mile wire between New York
and San Francisco. This marks the first transcontinental telephone service. The two
held the first wire conversation in 1876 when they spoke over a two-mile wire stretched
between Cambridge and Boston.
And to think, it’s been just a little over a decade since we all started to get to
know this new thing called “Internet”. This 1993
CBC-TV clip is a great look at how impressive that technology was then. [Link
thanks to Tech-Knowledge]
Today I use my broadband internet connection, voice over IP, and a VPN to daily
digitally commute to work 3000 miles away. My Messenger window shows me near real
time status of friends, family, and associates world wide. For each one, communication
is only a click away. On an even broader scale, as I sit hear on a cold winter day
in the southeast, I look in awe at the 22mb color image send earlier in the day back
to earth from the planet Mars. It’s an amazing shrinking world we live in.
What would Bell and Watson say if they could see how far things have come? Could they
have imagined what those telegraph wires along railroad routes would become? Yet there
is so much more technology peeking at us from around the next corner. I truly hope
that on January 25, 2014 I can sit back and say “Wow, look how far communications
have com in the last decade”. Will the internet become that utility that becomes a
part of every home and business? What will the weblog of 2014 consist of? And how
far away will VOIP allow me to talk?
Regulators in the US and other nations are considering regulations and charging fees
to providers similar to those imposed on the traditional telephone companies. This
reminds by of the early internet days when telcos screamed for regulations as up and
comers became industry leaders overnight. For many telcos, these threats appeared
to be nothing more than scare tactics to allow them time to catch up. Look at the
recent Verizon/Nortel announcement
as a good indication of what their plans are. Would they not just love to have the
government limit the growth of Vonage until they are ready to compete? Regulation
will kill innovation on the internet. Even the
FCC thinks this could be harmful. In the very least, individual countries attempts
to regulate will hold back companies from competing. Imagine what would happen if
the post office convinced the government that there should be a per email charge to
subsidize the postal service? Yes we need to have laws apply to things like piracy,
but we shouldn’t punish industries offerin new consumer choices.
That’s right kids, the Samsung SPH-I700 Windows Power Pocket PC phone is now available
in Canada for use on the Telus Mobility network. A limited number of devices are available
through The Phone Experts Communications in
Alberta. This slick little Pocket PC can be activated on their 1X data network and
also used on a regular voice package as well. The device also features a built in
If Santa’s listening, I’ve made an addition to my list!
Sierra Wireless, makers of fine products
such as the Wireless
Data 1x Aircards now has information online about their new “VOQ Professional
Phone” running Windows Mobile™ 2003 for Smartphone software as it’s
It has a flip-open QWERTY “thumb-pad”. Their site www.voq.com features
a cool 3d view of the product and feature information. According to the site the phone
will be available in the first half of 2004.
The design appears more phone-like that some of of Pocket-PC with phone cabilities
but provides more input options that products like the Motorola MPx200 Smart
2004 is going to be a very exciting year for mobile devices like TabletPCs and Smart
Phones taking advantage of increasing levels of network access. With development tools
already existing in Visual Studio .NET the development possibilities are endless!
Now what will be “The Killer App?”
For some time now I have been making use of a NEC Voice over IP telephone to keep in touch from my home office. I’ve also been enjoying the freedom of a wireless network card in my laptop to be able to work at different places, but still needing to run back to my desk to get the phone. Well now, thanks to a little network configuration and a USB network adapter, I am able to connect my IP set directly to my laptop which routes it through it’s wireless adapter on to my VPN connection to the head office. The result is an (almost) wireless voice over IP phone. I’m hoping soon that NEC comes out with an 802.11 wireless IP set of their own, but for now this will do nicely!