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VoIP Services


With an emphasis on open standard SIP based services. A wide range of services are on offer and we don't intend to list them all. However, we would like to achieve a representative cross section of the voice over IP market. Some services provide only a sip server ( directory and setup services ) where the bandwidth required for the call is provided by the broadband service of the individual or business. Most of these services are available to anybody anywhere in the world. Some services include dedicated broadband pathways and voice gateways into the global PSTN network. Most of these are marketed as alternate long distance carriers and/or reginal carriers. Incumbent Telco's are moving to IP voice for long distance and expect to deliver voice over broadband to business then residential customers. Many such offerings are limited in their geographic scope to local markets. We are also seeing an increasing use of VoIP through wireless broadband connections. This trend will likely continue as mobility operators see VoIP as an opportunity to shift from a single residential line to multiple mobile phones tunneled through a voip based micro cell. This is a possible market control strategy. Free peer-to-peer calling within the domain of a single service provider is commonly viewed as a marketing ploy. If you can make free calls then you will get your friends to sign up. However it flys in the face of the universality of our current PSTN networks, replacing geographically local calling with corporate locality. Not a good trade off. Free SIP calling between services is expanding to include peering with large exchanges like Universities. With a little imagination it becomes clear that the service that provides the best free peering will become increasingly attractive to the customer.

Number Translation

The word "ENUM" refers to the IETF protocol that takes a complete, international telephone number and resolves it to a series of URLs using a Domain Name System (DNS)-based architecture.

ENUM:
"E164.org is a non-profit ENUM registry for Telephone Number use on the Internet and Internet type networks. Our mission is to provide a sustainable, verified registry of telephone numbers for dialing on the Internet using Voice over IP, Email, Instant Messaging and other communication protocols. "
Based in VA 20166, USA

E164:
"E164.org is a directory of telephone numbers that can be reached over the Internet. The system works by publishing a DNS zone, 'e164.org', that can be used by various Internet applications including SER, Gnome Meeting and Asterisk. The idea is to be able to map your phone number to an Email address, website, VoIP addresses, etc. "

SIP Broker:
"SIP Broker is a free service that improves your SIP telephone experience in several ways: ENUM with automatic PSTN fallback, SIPdomain-to-numericPrefix mapping " An independent and free service that enables people using different providers to call each other, even if the providers do not support peering prefixes directly. Calling between SIP based VoIP providers is possible only if the provider you are calling has a policy which allows incoming calls from non-members.
Based in NSW 2153, Australia

Free Service Providers

FWD: Free World Dialup:
Jeff Pulver created FWD to enable people to make free calls over the Internet. FWD provides you with a number, white pages, listing, voice mail, and increasing non-VoIP connectivity through various partnerships, although not without additional costs. Peering is other free SIP services is provided. Based in Melville, NY

LibréTel: Global PortofCall:
"empowers anyone who has a broadband IP phone, anywhere in the world, to be able to buy a telephone number from various cities around the world and have a virtual phone number be mapped to it. It turns out that this is a great service for the global Expat community. With PortofCall, the customer only pays for the number and the monthly number fee current ranges from: US$ 6 – US$ 12 depending upon the choice of number.… Global PortofCall will offer the ability to call to route a virtual number to just about any telephone number in the world (or so it seems.) The monthly fees associated with this service are based on expected inbound minutes volume. The basic fee of US$ 24.95 a month covers up to 500 inbound minutes a month to quite a few worldwide destinations." Reference: The Jeff Pulver Blog September 09, 2004
Based in Melville, NY. Principle: Jeff Pulver

IPTel:
"Provides free SIP services to end users. Peering other free SIP services is supported. Free Washington state phone number to your Internet phone." Mixed Reviews
Based in Washington state, US

SIP Phone:
Michael Robertson, MP3.com and the company previously know as "lindows" created SIP Phone to enable people to make free calls over the Internet. SIP Phone provides you with a number, white pages, listing, voice mail, and increasing non-VoIP connectivity through various partnerships, although not without additional costs. As the product keeps evolving we see such things as a SIP Phone alias number that will ring several SIP numbers enabling home/office. phones and a virtual non-SIP number that enable normal phones to call your SIP phone. These additional services come at a cost, although the cost is not high. Peering with other free SIP services is provided. SIP Phone has recently partnered with SingTel to provide international VoIP/PSTN & PSTN/VoIP services for a low per minute rate.
Based in: San Diego, USA. Founder Michael Robertson

Gizmo Project by sipPhone:
"Gizmo Project uses your internet connection (broadband or dial-up) to make calls to other computers. With the click of a mouse, you’re connected to friends, family, and colleagues anywhere on earth. It’s just that simple. You talk clearly. For as long as you want. For free." Call Out to PSTN phones for 1.8 cents/minute, Call In from remote locations for $5/month/location. Gizmo is a open standards SIP based software phone.
Based in: San Diego, USA. Founder Michael Robertson

Google Talk free beta:
"Service choice is something you have with email and, for the most part, with your regular phone service today. This means that regardless of whom you choose as your email service provider (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, your school or ISP, etc), you can email anyone who is using another service provider. The same applies to phone service. You can call someone even if they do not use the same phone company as you do. This allows you to choose your service provider based on other more important factors, such as features, quality of service, and price, while still being able to talk to anyone you want. … Unfortunately, the same is not true with most popular IM and VOIP networks today. If the people you want to talk to are all on different IM/VOIP services, you need to sign up for an account on each service and connect to each service to talk to them. … We plan to partner with other willing service providers to enable federation of our services. This means that a user on one service can communicate with users on another service without needing to sign up for, or sign in with, each service. … Google Talk supports XMPP with the beta release. We plan to support SIP in a future release. Additionally, we will evaluate other protocols as appropriate, to continue to deliver on our commitment to open communications. … Google Talk supports a custom XMPP-based signaling protocol and peer-to-peer communication mechanism. We will fully document this protocol. In the near future, we plan to support SIP signaling. … Today, Google Talk supports the following standard voice codecs: PCMA, PCMU, G.723, iLBC. We are also evaluating the Speex codec. We also support codecs from Global IP Sound: ISAC, IPCMWB, EG711U, EG711A … While the Google Talk client is only available on Windows today We look forward toGoogle Talk client supporting Linux and Mac OSX in the future"
See also IM Federation Google Inc.
Based in Mountain View CA 94043 USA

Skype:
Not based on SIP but on a VoIP protocol proprietary Skype, by the inventors of KaZaA, Built using Peer-to-peer (P2P) techniques. Skype is a true peer-to-peer application and doesn't connect to any central servers. Calling between PCs (Skype to Skype) is free. Free skype softphones are available for Windows 2000, XP, Pocket PC, Mac OS X and Linux. Traffic on Skype is encrypted with 256-bits encryption (AES). Skype uses Sound technology created by Global IP Sound
Fee Based Services:
SkypeOut Call PSTN phones worldwide.
SkypeIn "Receive inbound calls to their Skype client from ordinary fixed telephones or mobile phones."
Skype Voicemail
Originally Based in Luxembourg with development in Estonia. Founders Niklas Zennström and and Janus Friis
Purchased by eBay for $2.6B (us dollars) in 2005

Apple: iChat AV:
"Make your multi-way video conference full screen and instantly turn your office into a video conference room. Tiger iChat AV brings multi-way video and audio conferencing directly to your Desktop with stunning, true-to-life picture and crystal-clear conversation." Video conferencing that uses the H.264 video codec negotiates with routers that use address translation and provides optional encription.

Monthly Plan Service Providers

VoiceStick:
"Powered by i2Telecom this service does charge a minium monthly fee of 99 cents, but appears to be operating primarily on the SIP to PSTN charges. A softphone Mac/PC is available for download although you can use this service without a computer by forwarding incoming calls to any PSTN phone. Use your VoiceStick calling plan minutes from any phone. No BroadBand Connection Required. To activate CellBridge go to VoiceStick.com select MyAccount enter userid and Password. Select CellBridge option and enable feature by entering the phone number you will be calling from (Your Cell Phone, Home Phone or Office Phone) and that’s it. Everytime you place a call from that phone to your VoiceStick phone number your account will automatically intercept your call and re-issue dial tone and all you have to do is enter the number you wish to call. " The softphone support both SIP and H323 standards.

Sony IVE: Instant Video Everywhere
"The Sony IVE service, powered by GlowPoint, also offers rich, multi-function upgrades that are packaged into affordable flat-rate monthly services that range from less than $10 a month – or less than $0.35 a day – to $19.95 for advanced, professional grade users." This appears to have a SIP based voice service component, although technical specifications are not well documented. This service is available only with windows software on a well configured hardware. Offering "unlimited video and voice caling to other IVE users worldwide… " Premium and Professional level services which add features such as mailbox, multiparty calling and live video operators are available for and additional monthly charge. PSTN access is available for additional charge. It will be interesting to see if this service is extended to the PSP through is support for its LocationFree wireless mulitmedia network. The press release notes "The IVE service's patent-pending standards-based technology allows all IVE users to directly contact all other standards-based video users and even those who do not have video access or webcams. This solves the 'islands of video' obstacle that previously restricted wide-scale use of video communications. Instead, the IVE service offers the ability to place free, unlimited 'audio only' video calls to anyone, anywhere in the world with no long distance charges or per call fees." IVE Customer Support says: "There are currently no plans to offer cross calling to other SIP systems."

EarthLinkvling (beta):
Vling is a SIP based free download. Currently available for Windows XP users only

ClearPath: Free MI US DID Numbers:
Direct Inward Dialing (DID) "As supporters of the Free World Dialup network, Clearpath Communications is offering free Michigan DID numbers that forward to your FWD number."
Based in West Bloomfield MI  48325 US

IPKall: Free WA US DID Numbers:
Welcome to IPKall, the service that lets you receive FREE calls over the Internet from any phone, anywhere, any time!.
Based in Melville, NY

IAXTel:
A service provider but one that connects services from the office level up. Iaxtel.com allows Asterisk ( Open Source PBX ) users and IAX clients to connect with each other over the Inter-Asterisk eXchange protocol. Once registered with IAXtel, each user get a unique 1.700 telephone number that will ring their IAX compatible client from any where on the Asterisk network.

Zip Global:
A VoIP to PSTN service. International customer base. Agressively priced for international for PSTN dialing. Flat rate available which includes US, Canada, Hong Kong and China. Mixed pricing model with entry at no monthly charge and higher per minute, medium charge with lower per minute, maximum monthly charge provide four countries flat rate and lowest rates for other countries.
Based in Quincy, MA, USA

On Instant:
Founded by Nick Ogden ( also founded WorldPay ). Initial roll out for businesses only. Residental service to follow. "On Instant is a unqiue global business to business communication network. We deliver VoIP to your pc with voice mail, IM, collaborative services, business networking opportunities and automated CRM systems."
Based in Jersey, United Kingdom with Technology development Dubai Internet City, Dubai United Arab Emirates

NetToPhone:
As a global leader in communications and voice technology, "Since its inception in 1996, Net2Phone has established itself as a world leader in delivering voice services over data networks."
Based in Newark, NJ, USA

TelAppliant:
"TelAppliant is committed to providing the widest possible selection of VoIP-related products and leveraging its partnerships with other suppliers to offer the best value to its customers." VoIP SIP phone services, a wide range of hardware, PBX and managed systems. Support for H.323 / SIP / IAX Based in London, UK. Serving EU

Primus:
Primus Telecommunications Group, Inc. Provides global telecommunications services. With aggressive growth over the last five years. Primus rates itself as the fifth largest telecommunications company world wide. Advertised as significant percentage reduction in your calling costs over competing long distance providers. Primus bills itself as a "global facilities-based Total Service Provider (TSP) offering bundled Internet, data, voice, and other value-added services." VoIP available in US, Canada

Vonage:
Billing itself as "The Broadband Phone Company™" Vonage has recently expanded its flat rate VoIP services from the US to subscribers in Canada. VoIP available in US, Canada

BT:
BT is providing a VoIP interface to its corporate customers. Their service is designed to connect your company PBX. The idea here is to enables Migration To VoIP Technology Whilst Retaining TDM PBXs VoIP available in Europe: Spain and Ireland first, later in Germany and the Netherlands.

BroadVox Direct:
Provides flat monthly rate VoIP calling unlimited local regional and long distance calls to the US and Canada. Uses SPA-2000
Based in Cleveland, OH

VoicePulse:
Provides flat monthly rate VoIP calling local and US long distance. Provides voice mail via email, do not disturb, Telemarketer Block, and Distinctive Rings for each of your phone lines or even based on who is calling you. Uses SPA-2000.
Based in North Brunswick, NJ - Founders: Ravi Sakaria and Ketan Patel

BroadVoice:
Flat Rate US and Lower Flat rate in State calling. US based customers only. Uses SPA-2000 and support Pulver Innovations WiSip Phone.

SIPMedia:
US based customers only. Uses SPA-2000.
Based in Cleveland, OH

EconoPhone:
Uses SPA-2000.
Based in Zürich

EconoPhone:
Uses SPA-2000.
Based in OSLO

ZipGlobal:
Low and no flat monthly rates plus low cost long distance. Uses SPA-2000.
Based in Quincy, Massachusetts

Packet8:
"8x8, Inc. and its subsidiaries develop and market telecommunications products and technology for internet protocol (IP) telephony and video applications." Packet8 provides paid services competing with other more conventional carriers. Innovations include a virtual PBX, providing all normal PBX services, for small businesses. The "Packet8 Virtual Office" product enables your office to be spread all over the world.
Based in Santa Clara, CA

Level(3) Communications:
"Level 3 is one of the largest providers of wholesale dial-up service to ISPs in North America and is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband subscribers through its cable and DSL partners."
Based in Broomfield, Colorado

Covad: VoIP The Movie:
A new trend in marketing for VoIP Business Services ? A Movie complete with bill board advertising ( at least on the net ) a trailer, movie and directors cut. Nice to see good use of broadband with a little humor for a change. "Covad VoIP is a business-class broadband service that truly integrates voice and data, and comes with a dashboard that allows you to easily manage all of your communications from a single screen."

CliConnect Internet Telephony:
"Cliconnect is a private company with branches in Canada, Brazil and Colombia. Cliconnect uses high-quality VoIP technology to offer Internet Telephony services for business and residential customers. Cliconnect supports a wide range of Internet telephony equipment including Sipura 2000 and 3000, Cisco 186, Linksys PAP2 and RT31P2 phone adaptors." Phones are not locked and not preconfigured. No interconnect with other SIP based services although they note that some SIP phones allow for dialing "virtual number@sip provider" (sip.cliconnect.com). No additional charge to use worldwide calling card gateways. Unlimited calling plans available. In Business since Jan 2005 offering service to customers world wide.
Based in Kelowna, BC, Canada V1V 1R9 and Porto Alegre - RS 90610-010 Brazil

Other communications companies moving towards VoIP implementations. Some are using VoIP for internal long haul traffic, others are offering enterprise solutions, while some are offering direct VoIP residential services. There are many others including cable companies. This is a sample not an exhaustive list.
QWest
Verizon Communications
Telus
SingTel
Citizens Commuications
Alltel
AT&T
Optimum Voice ( A Cablevision Company )
VoiceGlo
Navigata (Canada)
inPhonex
PeopleCall (Spanish & English) Machupichu, Madrid
iConnectHere ( connects free to FWD members )
sipCall ( UK )
AddALine ( US )
SBC Communications
TerraCall
FreshTel Australia
M!Voice Australia
Swiftbroadband Technologies Australia
RNK Voip - Phone for Life only available in MA, NH, and RI
SunRocket annual fee Voip
ISNTelecom ipFone Unlimited calls to US, Canada and Major Latin American Cities ( non-cell)
SOHO Skyway Business Class VoIP Services, BC and Alberta, Canada
IPgrade Private Label VoIP Service
GossipTelUK, Provides free sip peering with at least 13other services.
TalkFree (originally NetPhone2) Talkfree service is based on the G.729 codec, which can provide VoIP at bit rates as low as 19.2kbps.
GoToCall Private Label VoIP Service
IPgradeUSA
NetToPhone USA
EarthLine TrueVoice: USA
AOL TotalTalk: USA
IrisTel Canadian Company Offering International Service

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Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - V0N 1V1
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