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VoIP Price War Declared

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the battle-met dept.

Communications 275

gardel writes "Voxilla reports that a VoIP price war was declared today. An announcement that AT&T would drop its prices for its CallVantage Service from $34.99 to $29.99 per month was followed quickly by an announcement that Vonage would drop the price on its unlimited calling plan to $25 a month from the previous $29.99. Analysts say the price cuts show the VoIP market is not only competitive, but it's serious."

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Any VoIP users? (2, Funny)

NoInfo (247461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399958)

Has anyone used Voxilla or AT&T's VoIP services?

Any reason why someone would pay want to pay more for AT&T?

Re:Any VoIP users? (4, Insightful)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400042)

AT&T is a huge behemoth of a company, that isn't going anywhere. Vonage is a start-up.

For us, Vonage is a household name, but not for many outside this circle.

Re:Any VoIP users? (3, Informative)

danimal67 (679464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400062)

I use CallVantage. I've read many reviews that compare to Vonage and other competitors. A good portion of the reviews have said that they think CallVantage is less prone to distortion than competing services. I believe it is in part because the TA has to sit directly behind the cable modem and priortizes the packets. Apparently a recent firmware revision lets the TA sit behind routers, but I haven't moved mine. I don't know if this negates the positive audio qualities that reviews have cited.

Re:Any VoIP users? - Lingo (4, Informative)

aacool (700143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400173)

I use Lingo [lingo.com] as my exclusive phone service - I cancelled my POTS line after two days - SBC was very difficult to cancel when I told them I was going to VOIP

I have had absolutely no problems for the last two months. I get an amazing price - $19.99 for unlimited US, Western Europe & Canada, and the first three months absolutely free.

I can't imagine not having the convenience of VOIP. The online bonuses - email voicemail, detailed billing, etc are good too. Ob. referral - contact my id for a ref bonus:)

The rates to the rest of the world are good too

Re:Any VoIP users? (1, Troll)

SubnetLiberationFron (817776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400306)

Just wait until they throw in a free webcam and 500,000 free minutes usable only in the first week of service.

But seriously, why doesn't anyone sell a regular-looking phone wiht two jacks, one for a phone line and the other for ethernet. Plug in the phone line and it works like a normal phone. Plug in the ethernet and it uses some standard, open, free VOIP direct connection to whatever IP address or domain name you type in. These would be cheap to make and involve nomonthly fees. IP addresses aren't any harder to remember or speed dial than phone numbers.

I'll tell you why nobody makes it. It's because the're all a bunch of filthy dumb fucks that couldn't run a consumer-friendly business if you shoved hundred dollar bills up their asses all day long.

p.s. somebody should set up an anonymous VOIP peer-to-peer phone sex site.

p.p.s. ha ha look at me posting again after my subnet was banned! suckers

Price War? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399959)

Nothing heterosexual for you to see here. Move along.

Price Comparison Chart (VoIP in U.S.) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400093)

http://goat.cx/hello.jpg [goat.cx]
Look at this chart. It is very interesting!

Re:Price Comparison Chart (VoIP in U.S.)-GOATSE!!! (-1, Redundant)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400236)

DO NOT CLICK PIC!!!

You have been warned!...

Before the original 'goatse.cx' site was taken down, I got tricked into viewing this site via an amazon.com link redirect. Fiendish and clever....

I'm not wasting a mod point to mod this 'Troll'....

In Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399960)

In Soviet Russia, over VOICEIPs YOU!!!

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Maow (620678) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399961)

okay, I'll shut up now.

Competition... (0, Redundant)

mtrisk (770081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399964)

...is a good thing.

Re:Competition... Lingo (1)

liquid stereo (602956) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400206)

What about Lingo? I've been using it for 3 months now and its $19.99/month with unlimited local/long-distance (including Canada, the Caribbean, and western Europe).

Shizzle Nizzle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399965)

First Post Wizzle

-DT

3 Cheers for Free Markets (4, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399975)

Even social democrats like myself can appreciate good free-market competition like this.

If only all markets worked this way, I might be a Libertarian. . .

Re:3 Cheers for Free Markets (1)

druhol (683463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400163)

Hell, if just a few of 'em did I know I'd be happy.

Re:3 Cheers for Free Markets (4, Insightful)

rnd() (118781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400234)

All markets do work that way, it's just a matter of perspective. Markets don't naturally create a welfare state, for example.

It's kind of like gravity, you may not like it all the time, but it is a consistent phenomenon.

p.s. Markets are not a perfect way of allocating resources and capital, they are only the best way yet discovered by mankind.

Re:3 Cheers for Free Markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400255)

Name one thing which only one company can provide. Currently today no product we have is controlled by a monopoly. Not even Windows .. because guess what you can buy Apple or Linux.

Dont like MS Office? Then use Open Office or WordPerfect .. seirously though MS Word is the superior product. Wordperfect sucked feature wise .. WordPerfect should have had a better product before complaining how MS Word was beating them. It wouldnt have cost them billions to make a better rpoduct than Word.

So please .. all this talk of how a corporation can get a monopoly and then raise prices is hooey.

I'm not trolling .. have an open mind on this.

Still about $20 too much (4, Interesting)

metamatic (202216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399976)

The problem I have with my phone service is that the fixed per-month charge is about 5x what I pay for the actual calls I make.

I'd much rather have more expensive calls, and a lower per-month fee. I have no trouble with paying 5 cents a minute to make a call; it's paying $25+ a month for no calls that pisses me off.

Re:Still about $20 too much (4, Insightful)

DrZaius (6588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399990)

You're probably in the minority. My guess is that most people would prefer to have lower per minute rates than monthly rates.

I supposed the ideal would be having different packages -- the more you pay flat, the less you pay per minute..

Re:Still about $20 too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400177)

What, like a cell phone?

Re:Still about $20 too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400197)

I think the parent was referring to all those taxes,fees and other mandatory charges that you see on your bill.

In my case, for example, they amount to more then 50% of the bill.

What minority? (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400317)

"You're probably in the minority." Actually, the very fact that so few have moved to VoIP is a strong sign that this "minority" is pretty big.

Most people go with POTS because for most the service is cheaper. Think about the projected market for VoIP, it's mostly cable internet users. For these users a budget VoIP service would be optimal, especially considering all the *cough* red tape *cough* taxes on POTS administered by the FCC.

Re:Still about $20 too much (2, Informative)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400018)

Vonage has a plan [vonage.com] that gives you 500 minutes for $14.99 per month.

Re:Still about $20 too much (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400044)

I should have added that additional calls are 3.9 cents per minute.

Re:Still about $20 too much (4, Interesting)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400083)

Just did some calculations. At 3.9 cents for additional minutes, if you use less than 884 minutes per month, you're better off getting the 500 minute plan and paying overage charges.

Re:Still about $20 too much (1)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400331)

And I love it. I used to pay over $60 to Verizon, now I pay $15 and get a ton more services. Nice.

Re:Still about $20 too much (2, Interesting)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400058)

Imagine if we only had to pay $50 or $60 for a phone, internet, and cable combination service. That would be great. But I'm sure we would need more than the 1 local cable company we currently have in most areas to do this. The government should buy or seize (since cable companies have probably made back their investment in profits already) the broadband infrastructure or force the sharing of the infrastructure (as it has been with phone lines) to open up the markets to more providers. Then we could have 20 or 30 companies offering all these services together and prices would get pounded into the ground while the quality of services would keep rising. Man, that's a pipe dream.

Re:Still about $20 too much (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400254)

They call $30 and $25 a deal, thanks to the price wars?!

I use packet8.net and I pay $20/mo. If someone is paying more than $20, they're getting ripped off.

Re:Still about $20 too much (2, Interesting)

pwinkeler (413102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400353)

With Voicepulse Connect http://www.voicepulse.com/ [voicepulse.com] I pay $7.99/mo for an unlimited minute incoming phone number and 2.95 cents/min for outgoing calls (local or long-distance). Even with a wife and two daughters my call accounting tells me I would spend less just paying by the drink than my SBC local analog line at $34 (taxes, fees and caller-id included) by almost $20/mo!
In short, you'd be surprised how few minutes you really do use.
On top of that you might want to consider Voicepulse connect because I now get multiple incoming calls and multiple outgoing calls at no extra cost other than that the meter runs for outgoing calls.

The catch? You gotta run Asterisk http://www.asterisk.org/ [asterisk.org] and get at least one FXS port card from Digium http://www.digium.com/ [digium.com] .

Anything over $15/mo is robbery in my opinion

Re:Still about $20 too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400280)

What do you mean it's "5x what I pay for actual calls I make"?!

Where can you even get a basic telephone service for less than about $30/mo? I know I can't get that with Qwest. Just to have the telephone service and the phone turned on and be able to make and recieve phone calls and have a long distance carrier (even without using it) runs about $25 to $35 with Qwest. That's $25 to $35 BASIC. That doesn't count making any long distance calls, using voicemail, call return or anythign else.

For $20 (much less than I would even pay for basic telephone service with Qwest), I'm able to get ALL of the services that the phone company offers, including voicemail, call return, caller ID, call forwarding, call blocking and every other service *PLUS* I can make unlimited long distance calls to anywhere in the United States *AND* Canada. *PLUS* fees to places like the UK and Hong Kong are between 1 cent and 3 cents per minute.

I DARE you to get even basic incoming/outgoing service for less than $20 with the traditional phone companies.

Re:Still about $20 too much (2, Informative)

sportal (145003) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400293)

Then switch to a VoIP provider with that pricing model. Like VoicePulse Connect http://connect.voicepulse.com/

US Per Minute Rate:
2.95 / minute

If you want an Incoming phone number tied to your VoIP line:
Incoming phone numbers:
$7.99 / month (each)

Incoming rate:
0 / minute

If you don't have an incoming phone number, no monthly fees, only usage fees.

There are other that offer this also, like:
TerraCall http://www.terracall.com/
NikoTel http://www.nikotel.com/

Re:Still about $20 too much (4, Interesting)

extremescholar (714216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400304)

How about setting up your own Asterisk [asterisk.org] server (yes, it's Linux, but it works, get over it). Then you can use VoicePulse Connect! [voicepulse.com] to get a cheap rate for an incoming line.

Re:Still about $20 too much (2, Interesting)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400379)

"I'd much rather have more expensive calls, and a lower per-month fee. I have no trouble with paying 5 cents a minute to make a call; it's paying $25+ a month for no calls that pisses me off."

I use 'iconnecthere.com'. I pay $8.95/month + 3.5c per minute.

This $8.95 includes:
a pots-number in the city I choose
unlimited incoming calls
caller-id
voice-mail (that I can listen to on my mac)

Call quality is generally good, once in a while some latency is noticable. There is no 911 service that I'm aware of - it wasn't on my list of required features.

A.

Re:Still about $20 too much (1)

CoreDump (1715) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400383)

Most VOIP providers have lower priced plans, if you don't need a massive number of minutes.

For instance, VoiceEclipse has a $12.95 Plan [voiceeclipse.com] for 500 minutes. Additional minutes are still only 3.5 cents per minute.

This is the plan I've got at home. Cut my bill from SBC in half.

I'm not sure I'm the majority (2, Insightful)

Spytap (143526) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399978)

I'm not sure i'm the majority, but I'm really only going to care when they're making these services available in a handset that works not just inside my home, but outside in the rest of the world too. Fancy home calling services are nice and all, but I'm frankly not there that often, I need these fancy services (and higher calling quality) on the phone that sits on my hip all day wherever I go.

Re:I'm not sure I'm the majority (5, Funny)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400065)

They have invented them. They're called cell phones.

Re:I'm not sure I'm the majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400149)

How many cell phones do you know that do VoIP, and all the cool stuff said protocol allows you to do?

Oh yeah.... That's right. THERE ARENT ANY.

And we will never see one, either--at least until southeast Asia pushes IPv6 ahead, because, get this: this is the one freakin technology that will allow IP phones to work, and all of us Americans with out huge IP space devoted to a relatively few select instutions are FAT and happy with the way it works now.

I guess in the meanwhile that I'll just have to be pissed that I can't call cowboineal.cowboyneal.org from my IP wireless phone that's compatible the fucking world over, and that I STILL don't have a goddamend flying car.

Re:I'm not sure I'm the majority (1)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400074)

They've invented this already. It's called a cell phone. Get this- NO WIRES!

But... (1)

Sanjuro (9253) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399979)

Will you still get snooped?

Re:But... (1)

MarkMcLeod (759072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400081)

They won't listen...atleast no right away. The government is trying to push for recording are they not? Say the magic words, "bomb", "assinate", "bush", and it'll get flagged for future review.

Re:But... (1)

MarkMcLeod (759072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400100)

Assinate. Watch out :)

VoIP prices? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399982)

$25/mo? Lets see Walmart offer VoIP.. I'm sure they could make it go lower.. then we'd really see the masses come... Heck, why not have Walmart take over the world? They might be able to lower the price of earth.

Re:VoIP prices? (1)

druhol (683463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400181)

Yeah, but then they'd put those goddamn 'greeters' in all the delivery rooms. Way to traumatize the babies.

What about broadband? (2, Interesting)

Flizesh (775141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10399986)

Never see a price war with broadband.. esp. recently. Is it because of the monopolies had by Time Warner and other giants? Last sign of competition i've personally seen was TWC increasing from 2mpbs to 3 one year ago.

Wow! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399987)

Two companies dropped prices by five bucks, the Price War officially considered declared, film at eleven!

Another article... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10399992)

Claims this isn't true...

http://traceroute.zoy.org?voip

PARENT IS THE "HEY I'M LOOKING AT GAY PORNO" LINK! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400041)

Do not open!

Re:PARENT IS THE "HEY I'M LOOKING AT GAY PORNO" LI (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400056)

And yet, it gets moderated as "Informative."

Re:Another article... (-1, Offtopic)

kasek (514492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400079)

ITS A TRAP.

Mod this one to -1, its a link to a site with a million popups, and a gay porno something or another clip.

What's the 411 on VOIP? (5, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400002)

How is the quality of the VOIP services? Are there delays? Dropouts? Access to local 911? What happens when the power goes out in my house?

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400057)

I've been using Vonage for over a year now, and it's excellent... no loss in quality, 911 works etc.etc...

I have my cable modem and vonage box on a cheap UPS in case of power loss. Never seen it kick in though.

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400061)

then you use the force

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (3, Informative)

danuary (748394) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400174)

I've had Vonage for a little more than a year. In that time there have been -reported- outages -- none of which affected me. My phone has had dialtone every time I've picked it up and I've had to do basically nothing special to get it working. My service even worked during the Aug 2003 blackout in NYC -- had my Vonage box and cablemodem on a UPS and everything worked fine. The one time I've had occasion to dial 911 was at 5 in the morning when someone attempted to break into my apartment when I was in it asleep. 911 location is set up via Vonage's web interface; when I called 911 the operators were a little confused -- something about how the call came into them -- but the location was passed along and I had three cop cars in my door in 30 seconds flat. I perceived no difference between Vonage and a traditional land line. In short -- couldn't be happier. Works great for me. Little perqs like being able to get your voicemail e-mailed to you as a wav is fantastic -- as is being able to take the box with you and have free phone service anywhere you have ethernet.

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (1)

defile (1059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400290)

How is the quality of the VOIP services?

They're as good as POTS. In some cases the signal is louder.

Are there delays? Dropouts?

I don't notice any.

Access to local 911?

Nope. But a gun is faster way of handling most emergencies.

What happens when the power goes out in my house?

Celebrate! You have a great excuse for not picking up the phone when someone tries to call.

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (5, Funny)

jgalun (8930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400388)

Access to local 911?
Nope. But a gun is faster way of handling most emergencies.

I just hope I have enough ammo to shoot the fire out.

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400394)

Nope. But a gun is faster way of handling most emergencies.

My first reaction is: like heart attacks?
But then, it does work for those! Makes the problem go away, in any case.

Re:What's the 411 on VOIP? (2, Informative)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400298)

I've had Vonage for 2 months. On and off (mostly off) echo problems. No dropouts. No delays. Haven't had a chance to call 911, but set it up to transmit my address to 911 operators. When power goes out, I'm screwed. Then again, my only phone is a cordless, so I'd be screwed anyway. You can always get a UPS, but I don't know how long you have power through those (will they work in multi-day outages, like in Florida?)

This is bad news... (5, Funny)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400009)

Personally, I'm against all this competition.

What is clearly needed here is for the government to step in and start dividing up different areas of the country and assigning monopolies to the various telecom companies. I think we can all attest to the wonderful customer service and prices that a government sanctioned localized monopoly provides.

Re:This is bad news... (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400064)

I think we can all attest to the wonderful customer service and prices that a government sanctioned localized monopoly provides.

In cases where monopolies naturally occur, a government monopoly is as good as it gets.

Energy deregulation was supposed to lower bills by adding competition to the equation. If you lived in California, prices skyrocketed due to the fact many energy producers (see Enron) were keeping production off-line in order to artifically inflate prices.

In cases like these, I like my government-granted and regulated monopolies. In cases like this (VOIP), I'm inclined to agree with you.

Re:This is bad news... (1)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400172)

Don't argue with the Libertarians. In their world, Sudan is utopia!

Re:This is bad news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400371)

heh. there is always that one person on slashdot that has no understanding of sarcasm

Vonage rocks (5, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400021)

I'm signed up for the 500 anytime minute Vonage plan for $14.95 [vonage.com] . I've been extremely impressed with the service so far. They sent out the box right away, I plugged it into my network, and it "just worked". The online control panel is really slick, too. Very well designed, all the options right there, including listening to voicemail.

Even transferring my phone number was painless. I just faxed them a phone bill and they took care of the rest.

I was a little concerned with "voice lag", where you get that delay effect, but so far it's been unnoticeable. (but I also have a four megabit cable modem).

In short, Vonage has rocked so far. I had my doubts about VoIP, but no doubts any longer.

Re:Vonage rocks (dissenting opinion) (4, Informative)

davemabe (105354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400341)

I've recently switched from Vonage to AT&T. The call quality on Vonage was not very good. There is often a nagging local echo and there were several times that I had to reboot the telephone adapter to get it to function. This was unacceptable. Everything about AT&T's service has been better so far: call quality, customer service (much lower hold times!), and more features (locate me!).

Also, AT&T's telephone adapter sits on the internet side of your home network - this allows the device to perform QoS functions by prioritizing the voice packets. Vonage's device sits behind your router and therefore can't do anything about a busy connection. There will inevitably be dropped calls if you use your internet connection heavily while on the phone.

Dave [runningland.com]

+1 Same Here (1)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400349)

I have had the exact same experience. I'm saving $35 a month and getting more features. Plus international calls (the only ones I end up actually paying for) are super cheap.

It still sounds expensive to me. (4, Interesting)

genericacct (692294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400023)

I realize Americans have the all-you-can-eat mentality more so than the rest of the world, but is an unlimited domestic long-distance plan really the only way they can compete? I don't make enough long distance calls to justify that much for land-line voice service, and I have broadband. I suppose it's cheaper than a POTS line plus unlimited long distance, but of the people with broadband, I don't see a huge market to compete within. Please enlighen me if this is really a fast-growing market segment, because I just don't see it.

Re:It still sounds expensive to me. (1)

Spytap (143526) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400049)

Well on a personal level, I make lots of calls to New York and Chicago, and on a business level, I make nearly all my calls to New York, Chicago, Philly, Miami, etc.

It would be great for me if they just integrated it into my cell phone that I have to pay nearly a hundred bucks a month to use.

Re:It still sounds expensive to me. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400150)

I don't make enough long distance calls

"Your ISP called, they said you owe them $3000 in long distance internet access for September. They rattled off a huge list of out-of-town websites."

When you're calling over the internet, is there such a thing as long distance anymore?

Re:It still sounds expensive to me. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400229)

I don't make a lot of long distance calls (practically none) but as of late I've been talking more and more locally. I don't have a land line and only use my cellphone, which chews up minutes.

It's to the point now that I have to either increase my cell phone minutes, or get some form of landline (POTS or VoIP). It's looking heavily like that option is going to be VoIP since there's so many other advantages (extreme portability, blocking services, etc). VoIP is a bit cheaper than POTS, and I like not having to worry about going over minutes, etc. I can also probbably decrease my cell phone plan as I'll be using it less.

Essentially for me unlimited local VoIP is a good comprompise between the more expensive, pain is the ass to get going POTS line (and around here, unreliable). I get a nice old fashioned physical phone line, so no worrying about keeping my cell phone charged all the time, or finding the cell phone, etc. Plus I keep my cell phone for what it was intended, communication while on the go.

Re:It still sounds expensive to me. (1)

ikeleib (125180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400322)

The reason this is popular in America is because mobile phone rates are so cheap and frequently include free long distance. That's why Americans don't use SMS. If I wasn't doing lots of calling, I wouldn't be interested in flat-rate VOIP; I'd just use my cell phone.

If only the cable company would follow suit... (5, Insightful)

kasek (514492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400048)

I have considered vonage, because of the low international rates, but I don't want to dedicate a certain portion of my bandwidth for my telephone service. My upstream is hosed enough as it is, let alone dedicating part of it to phone use.

I would love to see a drop in prices for my cable modem service however. Since i got a cable modem 4 years ago, my bill has gone up 5 bucks. Meanwhile, new subscribers get their first 6 months at 29.95. After that, if they call to cancel, they are given another 6 months at 29.95 (I know this for fact, my dad called to cancel his account, and they offered him this deal).

Meanwhile, a 4+ year subscriber like myself calls, and says they are thinking of switching to Earthlink from Roadrunner, since it is 3 bucks cheaper a month, and they give 6 months at 29.95, they do nothing to try and keep me as a customer.

Of course they don't tell you that it is essentially the same service, since Earthlink goes through the Time Warner lines. So techinically they are not losing the customer. Which begs the question, how can Earthlink charge less per month?

On top of which, Comcast and Time Warner are working on a coop bid for the remains of adelphia, which will only damage competition even further in the cable industry. *sigh*

sorry for the mostly off topic rant, but it bugs me to see services like this that can slash prices left and right in the name of competition, and the cable companies are still firm in their prices.

Re:If only the cable company would follow suit... (1)

fegul (812818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400342)

I wholly agree. My upload with Comcast is maxxed out as it is, its hard for me to make clear phone calls when I am so limited. I wish Comcast would lower their prices, I like cable, but it gets expensive after a while

Didn't lower the costs for all plans.. (2, Interesting)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400060)

I have a plan with vonage that was 25 bucks when the premium plan was 35. The premium plan fell from 35 to 30 to now 25, but my plan has stayed at the same level at 25 bucks. It is an unlimited local plus 500 national minutes free. The remaining option is a basic 500 minutes, which was at 15, and still is at 15.

For some reason, Vonage doesn't want to cut the price on the basic and intermediate plans :(

S

Re:Didn't lower the costs for all plans.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400128)

General american business plan:

1- Lure People in with new technology
2- Imply that the technology will get cheaper as more people adhere to it
3- Maintain prices at a stagnant level for years(DVDs??)
4- Profit.

Duh (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400168)

Your intermediate plan didn't fall in price because they upgraded your features to the premium level.

Why aren't you paying $25 for the premium plan?

Re:Duh (1)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400220)

It hasn't changed to $25 for the premium plan till today. They still say $29 on their web site. Even $4 is a waste of money for me because most of my calls are local/regional, and most of the long distance calls are on the cell phone.

I'd save whatever money they drop on the intermediate plan. The main difference between that and the premium plan is the "allowed minutes".

S

First Post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400063)

Fist Prat.

Most impressive...not (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400087)

I think I'll wait until the "Stalingrad" phase of the price war before I switch over.

Vonage vs. Packet8 (1)

caldwell (693449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400088)

Vonage at $25/month vs. Packet8 at $20/month... This makes me slightly less happy with my choice to use Packet8. Although, I am very happy with them... their web interface is an extreme example of bare-bone. I might be willing to pay the extra $5 for Vonage's feature rich account controls. Also, their extra voicemail routing options would be nice.

VoIP Price War Declared (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400090)

All are trying to get market share with VOIP to PSTN
and remember this is on top of broadband costs.
The future is IP to IP and none of these big
players support it. So give me an honest providers
like Pulver and Iptel who do free IP to IP first,
to arbitrary destinations and provide PSTN second
for a fee.

Thumbs Up for Vonage (2, Informative)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400091)

I just got Vonage.com about 2 months ago for their $15/month plan (500 minutes plus $0.039 for overage minutes). I really like the service. I had a very small issue with installation and the tech support was very helpful. Pretty much no brainer to get running with my wireless router and cable modem. The sound quality is IMHO better than any traditional landline I have had. I would recommended them to anyone.

AT&T callvantage prices drop to $20... (5, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400098)

for the first 6 months, $34.99 thereafter. Thanks slashdot submitter for that fully objective and accurate portrayal of pricing.

I like price wars! (4, Informative)

ChiralSoftware (743411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400125)

I'm basically happy with my Vonage service. Only a few minor complaints:

  • I can't listen to my favorite Internet stations while I'm making a call. Ok, this has nothing to do with Vonage; I just need a faster DSL connection.
  • I can't seem to find a client for it that runs on Linux so I can connect straight from my computer or laptop, without having to use any of their hardware. I know it uses plain old SIP so this should be possible, and I have tried some of the web pages that have instructions on how to do this, but I can't get it to work. Skype has a Linux version ready for download and it works well. I wish Vonage had the same level of Linux support.
  • I wish it had better security. I think it uses plain old unencrypted SIP. It should be encrypted at the IP layer. Eventually we need to have end-to-end voice encryption for call security. Again, Skype already has this, albeit without published sourcecode.

If Skype had a service that gives me a phone number and lets me receive calls I might switch to that. I also think that Skype has better sound quality, in my experience.

know what's funny (2, Interesting)

Skadet (528657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400147)

know what's funny? maybe 5 years ago I used Dialpad.com... VoIP, 'cept through your soundcard... and you could call actual phone numbers. (this was in the day before free long distance was a staple in the cell phone community).

The funny part?

It was free.

glibc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400152)

WTF is urlich drepper doing with glibc. THe mailing list is private and there are no tarballs of the latest version. open source? how?

any alternatives?

(price) War declared! (0)

Dhaos (697924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400161)

Does this mean that AT&T is going to invade Poland?

Vonage quality is way down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400165)

Voice Pulse is still $35/month. As a subscriber, it really makes me want to switch (thinking of packet8). Their call quality dropped over the Summer but seems to have recently improved.

My buddy just dropped Vonage after a year due to serious on-going quality and customer service issues. Though it was only in the past couple months that he became pissed at them. He has been running Voice Pulse for the past three months.

So, yeah, Vonage really needed to do something.

Go Vonage! (1)

signe (64498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400180)

This makes the third time in the last 2 years that Vonage has dropped their rates by $5 a month. We signed up at $40 a month, and it was a good deal then. At $25 a month it's pretty amazing.

Quality is good. You do have to keep an eye on what your upstream bandwidth is (we're at 128 kbps, and given that that's not guaranteed, I think we're pushing it a little at times), but a QoS router will take care of that nicely.

-Todd

what value is added for $25 per month? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10400196)

I don't see how charging $25 per month for "phone" service can be justified much longer. You are just sending and receiving data packets over your broadband connection, which is already paid for. If you consider a phone number is a lot like a IM ID name or a email address, what's the real difference between your phone ringing and getting a IM message window popping up? One costs you $25 per month and the other lets you talk for free. Why don't we just make things that look just like a phone, ring when you get a message, and emit a dial tone when you pick them up and let you dial a number instead of a IM ID or email address? Why pay $25 for this? People think it's a great deal but that's because they are comparing it to the old phone service which costs more and charges by the minute for long distance. Compare it to how you use Yahoo messenger for example and you wonder why pay anything at all for it?

Re:what value is added for $25 per month? (2, Interesting)

Trigulus (781481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400310)

I am a vonage user. Most of my friends, family, coworkers, businesses I deal with etc.. are not uber geeks and do not wish to be forced to communicate with me in some strange and unusual way (IM, computer phones,proprietary sip services etc.) With vonage they pick up their phone, dial my number and we communicate. Anyone out there on traditional phone lines can reach me without any inconvienience to them. And it costs me very little compared to the same service from those traditional phone lines. You dont seem to live in the real world or at least communicate in it. At work we have completely switched our phone lines to vonage. 15 lines!. We have a 100MB internet connection so we dont even feel the lost bandwidth but we save over $2000 per month! and our customers have no clue. in fact most of the employees are unaware of the switch. To me that says it all. My only complaint is vonage limits a "company" account to 10 lines so we had to set up 2 accounts. And that is very minor.

HA HA! HA HA HEH! (4, Interesting)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400223)

When I signed up for Vonage, it cost me $40 a month which was a huge savings off the $60 a month I was paying for traditional service.

Now the price is going down to $25 a month? This is amazing. I was briefly considering building my own VoIP system [slashdot.org] , this news makes it not the worth the trouble to go out and buy the parts I would need.

Now I have [slashdot.org] time [slashdot.org] to [slashdot.org] focus [slashdot.org] on [slashdot.org] all [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] other [slashdot.org] projects [slashdot.org] I've [slashdot.org] been [slashdot.org] thinking [slashdot.org] about [slashdot.org] .

M

Lingo (1)

higginsm2000 (242840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400243)

I have been very impressed with Lingo, and it seems to me like these services still have a way to go to match it. $40 activation, $20 unlimited US/Canada and Europe(!) calls, second month free (with voucher). If you have friends/family in the UK, you can even get a UK "alternative" number so they can call you in the US at local rates ($10 a month extra). This service is also available in other countries too.

So far, service has been excellent. Great sound quality with no delay at all - indistinguishable from cellular. Setup was easy, and the unit will power your home phone wiring so that the transition is straightforward.

Apparently customer service sucks though, but hopefully you won't need it.

Sorry if this sounded like an Ad :-)

Re:Lingo (1)

Visceral Monkey (583103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400340)

We use lingo and while the quality is decent, it's not great. Worth only paying $20 a month for? Yes. However, we keep having to unplug and replug the equipment they sent us because the phone just stops working. Very annoying.

Worth noting (1)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400262)

There are now almost 1 million Americans subscribing to VOIP services on their broadband lines and Vonage has 200 000 subscribers [itfacts.biz] . They say by 2008 the number will be 17.5 mln.

As more move to VoIP (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400268)

At what point is the cost 0? I'm thinking once the link to POTS is redundant.

That is, buried in my internet pipe. I don't pay for any other protocol, after all..

Stunning savings on international. . . (2, Informative)

Sialagogue (246874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400277)


(Pre-rave disclaimer, I'm unafilliated with Vonage except as a customer.)

I set up Vonage for our company - we're running 4 lines over a 5Mbps DSL with only occasional stuttering problems.

But the real benefit comes from the fact that although we are a small company, we have offices in five countries in Europe which we speak to on a daily basis. So, we signed up with Vonage for five new lines each tied to a New York number, then when we received the adapters we turned them right around and shipped them to the outer offices. They plugged them in and bingo, all five offices are now accessible with a local call. Plus, that local call is free because all in-network calls with Vonage are free.

That plus the super-low international rates for our other business calls have saved us close to $1,000 a month, which for our sized company is huuuuuge.

Just a week ago I used three-way calling to set up a conference call between London, Prague, and New York and ended up paying 6 cents a minute total. Crazy.

Only downside has been number transfer - they haven't made any progress with cutting our lines over, so we're still having to pay Verizon 80 bucks a month for forwarding - but even there Vonage siad they'd credit our service for any time over 40 days.

I'm a fan so far. . .

Re:Stunning savings on international. . . (1)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400389)

Interesting what you say about getting the LNP transfer. I just signed up with Vonage (loving it too) and they transfer from Verizon for my 212 number took just over a week total. Much smoother than I expected.

broadvoice is still cheaper.. (1)

Urgo (28400) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400305)

Well thats all well but broadvoice [broadvoice.com] charges $20/mo. I've been using them since August and have been very happy.

Broadvoice [broadvoice.com] +Sipura [sipura.com] from voxilla [voxilla.com] +asterisk [asterisk.org] =awsome home phone system.

And... (0, Flamebait)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400308)

What about us who use the phone for Internet service?

My phone bill is under $100 including landline, DSL and cellular. Do you think I'm going to go with cable + internet that reaches well over $100 on it's own for a few free long distance minutes?

Just trying to play devils advocate.

Big news, but not for the consumer. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10400316)

I've had VoIP long dist for well over a year now through a small company based in Portland, Oregon. But for the most part all the plans are targeted at commercial customers.

Do you know why the Big Boys don't want to offer VoIP to residential customers? Because residential customers have no pull, we can't really pick and choose and tell our providers to hit the road, we are a Cash Cow stranded in their coporate corral. Big Biz customers CAN and DO dictate what they are willing to pay. Once again, Joe Blow get's screwed.

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