Monday, April 04, 2005


The VoIP revolution

With the buzz surrounding VoIP and my recent experience in telecoms consulting, I thought it was about time I tried out Skype. Offering free PC-to-PC calls and beta services SkypeOut allowing you to call real phones and SkypeIn giving you a phone number for other people to call you on.

I was hoping this combination might make it a useful tool for WandD - allowing all the benefits of a fixed line at the same time as letting us have that fixed line terminate wherever we needed it to (as long as we had a broadband connection).

First the good news - the PC-to-PC quality is excellent - certainly better than mobile calls and probably better than fixed calls, at least as long as there isn't too much other network activity (at least with Duncan and I calling each other - we are with the same ISP, but I have heard that the quality is good generally). We will be using it for this.

The bad news comes in two parts:

  1. SkypeOut has had terrible quality in all the testing I have been able to do so far - akin to mobiles with very poor reception. I'm hoping this improves.
  2. SkypeIn has been a non-starter so far, as there are no UK numbers available, and I'm not keen on only having a number in the US or France. I understand that this service is only beta at the moment, but it would be great if we could have some idea of when more numbers might become available. If anyone has any further information - we'd love to hear about it. Hopefully once the issues are worked out, more numbers will become available and the quality will improve to the level of Skype-Skype calls.

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