VoIP Service Providers
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VoIP (the transmitting of voice over a data network) is a universal technology, which each service provider utilizes differently. For example Google and Vonage are both VoIP service providers using Voice over Internet Protocol technology. However, Vonage aims at traditional home based phone lines, and Google Voice implements voice features within its proprietary email. Some VoIP providers focus on residential VoIP solutions, and others offer comprehensive commercial solutions. Each provider aims at filling a specific communication need.
Peer to Peer VoIP Provider
P2P VoIP is the least expensive VoIP solution, operated from your computer or mobile phone. The solution is offered on a Peer to Peer network and can make phone calls worldwide to any number for free, or for a low VoIP rate. P2P VoIP providers offer their software for free and make money when users use their network to call “traditional” landline phones. No analog terminal adapters are needed to make phone calls, however Peer to Peer VoIP call quality is often lacking in comparison to hardware VoIP solutions.
Consumer VoIP Service Provider
The most popular option in residential VoIP is the “pure play” Internet VoIP service. The pure plays simply offer a telephone service for monthly rates from $5.00 to $40.00 per month. VoIP Service providers are competing against the traditional, landline phone companies primarily on price. Advertising and word of mouth has helped pure play companies succeed and push residential VoIP mainstream. Voice over IP can provide cost savings over the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). One disadvantage to “pure plays” is that they cannot offer cable and TV service. Many larger cable companies are competing by offering triple play services that include VoIP phone service, TV & Internet.
Cable Service Provider
Cable Service Providers have scaled their networks, and are prime for expansion in the VoIP arena. Cable Service Providers have escaped the name VoIP, and prefer to call their service digital phone service. Cable VoIP often is more expensive, but many residential users find it appealing because their TV, phone, and Internet are on one bill. The cable company VoIP providers offer a few potential downsides. Since cable companies divide territories, you often will not be able to choose which cable company to use.