VoIP Pyramid Schemes Under a Microscope

May 15, 2007 by Garrett Smith

If Only $500 Could Make You a Millionaire

Patrick Benard of TMCNet has an excellent piece today on the emergence of pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) schemes within the VoIP industry. The premise is simple – you pay an upfront fee to get into the program and receive basic training. Next you go out an recruit others to become agents underneath you. Do you or anyone else you have recruited every really sell VoIP service? Who knows. But who cares, you going to be rich right?


Linksys WIP300 Now Only $119.99

Linksys WIP300 Normally Retails for Over $200!

Linksys WIP300I typically shy away from announcing direct promotions on products we retail at VoIP Supply, but this one is just too good not to tell everyone! VoIP Supply has worked with Linksys to offer an insane price discount on the Linksys WIP300 WiFi IP phone. Right now you can get the Linksys WIP300 for only $119.99, a savings of $90!


Vonage Releases Voicemail to Text Capabilities

May 3, 2007 by Garrett Smith

In the Face of Adversity, Vonage Keeps Trying to Innovate

Sure many will say that Vonage is not innovative enough, and that voicemail to text is nothing “new”, but you have to give them credit for *trying* to differentiate their service with their latest service enhancement, Vonage Text. Most, if not all, residential service providers are making no attempts to do anything other than deliver cheap dial-tone over someone else’s pipe – a sure death sentence. So I salute Vonage, for not just carrying the torch for the industry – something that has been costly – but also for continue to deliver new, innovative (to the general public), and valuable services on top of dialtone.

Sure they do not have it all “right”, but who does. They are down, but not out, and from the looks of this announcement, and this new site, Vonage will at the very least go down swinging.

2007 The Year of Business VoIP?

All of the Factors are Here…

VoIP Supply colleague Cory Andrews pointed me to a posting by Andy Abramson, on the “untapped business VoIP market”. I could not agree more with Andy’s findings, based on this ZDNet Report, that 2007 and 2008 will be the year Business VoIP explodes. Since 2004, we have seen heavy growth in the residential VoIP, and to a certain degree the hosted VoIP sectors, mainly fueled by aggressive marketing by VoIP service providers chasing early adopters. Over the past six months though, the amount of inbound inquires from networking integrators, VAR, consultants, and vendors about business VoIP, has increased ten fold, further asserting the “interest” in the technology has finally caught up with the “implementation” aspect of the technology.

Provided that hardware vendors continue to develop easy-to-use and easy-to-implement solutions, coupled with reliable, high quality voice from service providers, there is no doubt that inthe next 12 -18 months we will see a mass migration to VoIP from businesses across the globe.

VoIP Pure Plays Should Be Worried About Cable Providers

Cable VoIP Subscribers Nearly Doubled in 2006

Russell Shaw points us to an In-Stat study that shows cable providers nearly doubled the number of telephone subscribers. I for one, do not see this trend slowing anytime soon. According to the study, of the 9.4 million cable telphone subscribers in North America, 6.6 million are VoIP, that is an alarmingly high adoption rate, especially if you’re a residential VoIP pure play offering service through VoIP adapters.

According to Mike Paxon, In-Stat analyst, “In a growing number of markets around the world, cable TV operators consider telephony service to be an integral part of their telecommunications service bundle.” That means the triple and quadruple “plays” will continue to be heavily pushed and marketed to an existing customer base, and potential customers. With a “communications monopoly” the cable providers will be able to offer outstanding pricing, and the convenience of billing consolidation, which could spell big trouble for pure play VoIP providers, who other than offering an even lower price (and smaller margins for themselves) will barely have a leg to stand on.

Could the rest of 2007, and 2008, be the period that cable kills the pure play residential VoIP provider?

Polycom IP Phone Comparison Chart

Compare and Contrast the Complete Polycom IP Phone LIne-up

We thought this Polycom IP Phone Comparison Chart would come in handy for those of you who are interested in one or many of the Polycom IP Phones, but wanted to see how they stacked up against the rest of the Polycom IP Phone line.

Features Audio Features Telephony Features Power over Ethernet Support
Ethernet ports LCD Display Expansion Module Support Full-Duplex Speakerphone Lines Mute, Headset, and Hands Free Keys IEEE802.3af
polycom 320
IP 320
1x 10/100Mbps 102 x 33 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing
polycom 330

2x 10/100Mbps 102 x 33 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing
polycom 430

2x 10/100Mbps 132 x 46 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 160 x 80 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 3 Yes Yes
polycom 550

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD No Yes 4 Yes Built-in, autosensing
polycom 601

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD Up to 3 Expansion Modules Yes 6, up to 42 Yes Built-in, autosensing
polcyom 650

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD Up to 3 Expansion Modules Yes 6, up to 42 Yes Built-in, autosensing

If you are looking for VoIP gateways, VoIP adapters or even IP phone systems, VoIP Supply has everything you need for business VoIP.

Skype For The Enterprise Concerning?

April 13, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Skype Looking For Beta-testers For Their Enterprise Offering

skypeSkype announced yesterday that they are looking for companies with a 1,000 or more employees to test an enterprise class version of Skype. According to the release, Skype Enterpirse Edition has all of the standard Skype features, in addition to:

  • Enterprise Network Compatibility
  • Company-owned Skype Name Creation
  • Customisable to Corporate Requirements
  • Direct Skype Technical Support
  • Maintenance

Although this sounds like an excellent proposition, I wonder about the load that using Skype will take on an enterprise level data network, especially one that, presumably, was built to only handle PC related traffic. While it seems that Skype *may* have built some sort of technology into the enterprise client to alleviate this concern via their “enterprise network compatibility”, I know of 50-100 person companies that use Skype, who struggle with issues related to to voice/video calling on their PC data network.

If the load can not be adequetely handled by the enterprise network, it is fairly certain that latency, jitter, and packet loss will occur resulting in a less than favorable calling experience, and more than likely poor results from the Skype for enterprise program.

Don’t Forget Your POTS!

April 12, 2007 by Garrett Smith

As More Companies Adopt VoIP, The Focus Remains on POTS

A recent In-stat report noted a trend that we at VoIP Supply have tried to make a best practice for all businesses making the move to VoIP – keeping POTS lines. David Lemelin, an analyst at In-Stat found in a recent study a persistent theme among VOIP adopters: They still hold onto traditional voice communications technology for a part of their operations. Traditional voice switching, known as Time Division Multiplexing, or TDM, still accounts for 44 percent of the voice lines in those 20 percent of U.S. business that have adopted VOIP, he said.

Why Should You Keep POTS Lines?

Here are just a few reasons why you should keep your POTS lines when leveraging VoIP:

  • Failover: This one of the most important aspects to consider when switching to VoIP; what is your plan for communications if your network, or Internet connection goes down? By keeping POTS lines, you ensure that if your Internet or network connections “goes down” your customers can still reach you and you can still reach them.
  • Quality of Service (QoS): There are numerous times that the QoS on your VoIP lines will not be acceptable or suitable for business communications. If you keep your POTS, you will be able to easily route calls over the PSTN, when and if that happens, ensuring a pleasureable calling experience for each party.
  • Local Calling: If your business makes a number of local calls each day, you will probably not realize a cost savings by using VoIP for these calls; in fact, they might actually “cost more” if the quality of the calls is sub-par. In addition, local providers are continuing to reduce their per minute charges to compete with VoIP providers.

So for all of you thinking about making the switch to VoIP or buying a new ip based phone system, there is absolutely no reason that you should forget your POTS, that is until VoIP is suitable for mission critical communications, which is still a ways away.

Vonage CEO Resigns

Michael Synder Lasted Less Than a Year

Not that this should be a surprise given all that has gone on wrong at Vonage during his tenure, but one has to wonder if Michael was thrown under the bus to “show investors” that Vonage was serious about cutting costs and making themselves into a viable, long term, profitable business. Seems that Michael is the “fall guy” here, especially since Vonage included a snippet in the press release about their plans to focus on reducing the company’s operational costs, and slashing marketing expense….signs of an investor driven move.

Although no reason was given for his resignation (so my thoughts are pure speculation), Jeffery Citron noted that, “Mike has made valuable contributions to the growth of our business and we will miss him. We thank him and wish him well in his future endeavors.” According to the press release, Jeffery Citron will act as interim CEO, as the company attempts to finds a new replacement.

This begs the question, “Who in the world would want this job?”

Rhino Equipment Analog Telephony PCI Cards With Echo Cancellation

April 11, 2007 by Garrett Smith

On-Board Echo Cancellation Decreases Server Workload

rhino equipmentRhino Equipment has announced the release of their plug-in PCI analog telephony card product line with on-board echo cancellation as a standard offering. The Rhino FXO and FXS analog telephony product line consists of fixed and modular offerings to fill the need of any analog requirement for Asterisk-based PBX systems.

What’s New With The Rhino Analog PCI Cards?

For their new analog telephony cards, Rhino has partnered with Texas Instruments and Adaptive Digital Technologies to help create the lowest priced analog PCI card echo cancellation solution available for Asterisk. All Rhino PCI analog cards offer standard features such as carrier-class ITU G.168 compliant echo cancellation with 1,024 taps, 128ms tail, complete with a fast converging non-linear processor with automatic comfort noise generation.

Non-Modular Analog PCI Cards From Rhino

R24FXS-ECThe non-modular line consists of three models: the R4FXO-EC, the R24FXS-EC, and the R24FXO-EC. The R4FXO-EC features four FXO channels in a non-modular design, with four female RJ11 jacks available at the PCI card bracket. The R24FXS-EC and R24FXO-EC both feature a single RJ21 female connector at the PCI card bracket, with a Velcro strap to secure the mating RJ21 cable to the connector.

Modular Analog PCI Cards From Rhino

R8FXS-ECThe modular line consists of two models: the R8FXX-EC and the R24FXX-EC. The R8FXX-EC features four female RJ11 jacks available at the PCI card bracket, with two lines appearing on the inside and outside pair of each jack. The R24FXX-EC features a single RJ21 female connector at the PCI card bracket, with a Velcro strap to secure the mating RJ21 cable to the connector. Dual FXS and FXO modules are easily snapped into place using a two point interconnection mechanical mounting method using enclosed, non-pin type connectors for smooth and reliable field upgrades.

Manufacturer list price for the R4FXO-EC model is $409; the R8FXX-EC base card model is $329; the R24FXX-EC base card model is $389; the Dual FXO daugtercard is $125; the Dual FXS daughtercard is $110; the R24FXS-EC model is $1,399; the R24FXO-EC model is $1,599.


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