Have lots of friends in Mexico? Here are your best deals for VoIP

MyVoIPprovider.com has published the top five best VoIP deals for frequent callers to Mexico.

Just as the recent list for calls to India, this list was composed by VoIP writer Rachel Greenberg.

The top five VoIP provider deals range from $25 per month per line for unlimited calls, to $5.99 per month for 60 free minutes. Most of the plans include calling to many other countries.

Greenberg’s list includes:

ITP, which offers unlimited calling to Mexico for $24.99 per month.

BroadVoice, which offers unlimited calling for $24.95 per month.

VOIPo, which offers 60 free minutes for $6.21 per month with a two-year contract.

Axvoice, which offers unlimited calls for $16.58 per month and a one year contract.

Phone Power, which offers one free hour of international calling for $5.99 per month.


What are the advantages of SIP trunks? Here’s an explanation

Anyone looking for a basic primer on SIP trunking will find value in voipreview.org’s article explaining the technology’s advantages and reviewing the offerings of several top vendors.

SIP trunking allows a business to use its own IP-based Private Branch Exchange, or PBX system.  Such an approach not only provides cheaper calling rates, but avoids having to pay for expensive, hard-wired PBX equipment based on old-fashioned telephony.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution for businesses looking for cheap phone systems. VoIP is the technology that takes phone calls and sends them over Internet connections. With VoIP, a business can replace their expensive legacy PBX (private branch exchange) with an IP PBX, which uses VoIP for calls.

The IP PBX is either an appliance or software that connects and manages all of a business’ phone lines and extensions. Essentially, the PBX allows a business to have more extensions than phone lines, as it enables multiple extensions to be served by the same line.

SIP trunking allows a company avoid costly hosting arrangements, and use its own, on-premise IP-based PBX.

The trunking service provides the connections to the VoIP service used by the business.

The Voipreview.org article reviews the offerings of VOIP.com, RingCentral and 8×8, vendors offering SIP trunking plans that range from less than $15 per month to more than $400 per month.

The costs depend on the number of ports the plan provides. The number of ports available determine the number of simultaneous calls a system can handle.

VoIP? Block those unwanted calls

VoIP Review is reminding VoIP phone users that they have the ability to block unwanted calls.  Indeed, there are four different ways to block calls from your VoIP phone:

1. A blanket “Do Not Disturb” status

Yes, this may block wanted calls as well, but it is nonetheless a helpful tactic when you simply need to get away from the world for a while. With a Do Not Disturb setting engaged, your phone will accept calls but, without ringing, will immediately direct them to your voice mail.

2. Unknown? Rejected!

This handy feature is for those users who only want to receive calls from people they know, or at least want to know.  If someone calls with a blocked Caller ID, they will get a message telling them that you don’t accept anonymous callers and that they will have to turn off their Caller ID block and try again.

3. Life, carefully filtered

This is a sheer joy to employ. Call filtering redirects incoming calls to specific destinations. You can order it to send some specific callers immediately to voice mail, some other callers may be forwarded to another number, perhaps a business line. A lucky few will be recognized by the filter and someone whose calls you always want to accept.

4. White list vs Black list

For those who need to shuffle call priorities frequently and simply, this solution lets you easily move callers from an “accept anytime” list (white), or an “always send to voice mail” list (black).  As needs arise, it’s easy to shift your contacts from one list to the other.


Report: Fixed VoIP services to grow by 10% in U.S. market

The next four years are likely to see more than 10-percent annual growth rate in the U.S. fixed VoIP market, according to an analyst report released by Technavio.

Fixed VoIP service, as opposed to nomadic VoIP service, requires calls to be made from a fixed address. According to the report, “Fixed VoIP Services Market in the US 2012-2016,” the compound annual growth rate is projected at 10.15 percent thanks to the increasing availability of next-gen telecom infrastructure.

According to a press release on the report, te Fixed VoIP Services market in the U.S. has been benefited from traditional phone service subscribers switching to fixed VoIP services.

The report includes information on security concerns that threaten market growth as well as details of market discussions with major providers including Cox Communications Inc., Vonage Holdings Corp., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cables Inc., and Cablevision Systems Inc.

The repoprt also identifies key market trends, challenges and opportunities, as well as key vendors and their various strengthes and weaknesses.

A report table of contents for the market report is available at http://www.reportstack.com/product/92018/fixed-voip-services-market-in-the-us-2012-2016.html.

Technavio is a research wing of Infiniti Research, focused on niche and upcoming technology markets. It has offices in Elmhurst, Illinois, London and Bangalore.





Voicent focuses product line on needs of Call Center businesses

After more than a decade spent developing innovative communication solutions for small businesses and nonprofits, Voicent Communications, maker of AgentDialer “robo-dialer” software and automated appointment reminder software for medical offices, has emerged as soup-to-nuts provider of VoIP Call Center tools.

Early last year Voicent added Call Center Manager to its lineup of integrated solftware. The tool provides automated management of all aspects of the call center, from employee training and performance management, to regulatory compliance capabilities.

Call Center Manager followed quickly on the heels of an announcement that Voicent’s software had benefited from changes that dramatically expanded its scalability to handle the call volume of even global enterprises.

Just recently, Voicent launched a Call Center Business news channel on the technology media giant TMCnet.

One of the first news announcements on the site was the introduction of a new Rules Engine option for Voicent Call Center Manager software.  The Rules Engine enables fine control of call center resources and campaign performance-boosting control of recorded messages, Caller ID info, and matching of calls and agents based on selectors such as language, buying history and more.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Voicent has been developing affordable, easy-to-use communication software for more than 10 years.


Site offers VoIP buying guide for small, medium-sized businesses

VoIP research website GetVoIP.com has announced the launch of a Business VoIP directory and Buyer’s Guide.

The company says its aim is to make the VoIP decision-making process easier for small businesses.

Noting that a PBX  can cost a business up to $10,000 for the hardware, plus $1,000 per employee, the new site notes that VoIP solutions offers the same service for a fraction of the cost.

The new site also notes that while old-fashioned phone technology has remained stagnant, VoIP-based phone technology is undergoing near constant improvement and innovation.

Service provides VoIP network troubleshooting and fixes

Vera Networks has announced the availability of its vCapture service that helps operators of Voice over Internet Protocol networks and platforms to quickly locate and resolve call issues.

According to the company’s announcement, the vCapture service provides technical teams with the ability to target call issue-related Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling data with laser-point accuracy without being in critically sensitive areas of the network infrastructure.

The non-invasive, cloud-based, SIP signal capture technology records all SIP messaging within a switching network. This allows for in-depth analysis of SIP signaling data, including call flow, signaling, and equipment-related problems, according to the company.

The cloud-based solution is offered on a monthly subscription basis, the company said.

VoIP solution applied to prison visitation security

EdgeAccess has announced its new VoiceWise Video Visitation product for the Correctional Industry.

The company’s announcement was made at at the Florida Sheriff’s Association 2012 Summer Conference in Kissimmee, Florida.

According to a company press release, the heart of the solution is EdgeAccess’  VoiceWise Server, responsible for routing and authentication; the Video Visitation Recorder, which records and stores both inmate and visitor sessions; the tamper-resistant Visitation Stations (configurable as an Inmate or Visitor Client Station, which is available with two handsets for two simultaneous visitors); and the Monitoring Station used by correctional staff monitoring scheduled visitations.

The product also offers the Edge Power Free Module, which eliminates the need to run separate electrical outlets to power the visitation stations.

EdgeAcces’ specializes in Tactical Communications for Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and First Responders as well as video visitation for the Corrections Industry.

Houston, we have VoIP

Harris Corporation announced that it has delivered the first operational VoIP radio control capability into the National Airspace System.

 An international communications and information technology company, Harris Corporation’s announcement of its achievement described VoIP as “an essential enabler of the agency’s evolution toward NextGen, a wide-ranging transformation of the entire U.S. air transport system.”

According to the Melbourne, Florida-based company’s announcement, “the Harris Liberty Radio Control Equipment is operational at the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center in Houston, which provides air/ground radio communications for the Gulf of Mexico, including remote oil platforms.

Liberty RCE can emulate virtually any radio link and offers radio control over a variety of transmission mediums, making it ideal for communications to isolated areas where digital services compatible with satellite communications are sparse, and reliance on legacy links and older analog technology is often the norm, the company said.

The company’s announcement said Liberty RCE was selected as an interim solution after the FAA encountered technical issues operating legacy RCE while deploying a remote air/ground communications facility on the oil platform Independence Hub in the Gulf of Mexico.

The announcement quotes John O’Sullivan, vice president, Mission Critical Networks, Harris Government Communications Systems: ”The FAA selected the Liberty RCE for this mission because it addressed an immediate need for critical ATC communications in a remote and challenging environment.  Liberty RCE’s flexibility enabled us to solve a technical issue that was encumbering our customer and reflects our continued commitment to providing the FAA with innovative solutions for their unique challenges.”

According to the company announcement, Liberty RCE is a commercial off-the-shelf product that provides remote radio control over a variety of transmission mediums, including analog, T-1/E-1 and Ethernet/IP. It was designed to multiplex voice and data signals transmitted between ATC facilities and local or remote radios over standard telecommunications links. Liberty RCE can be used with any voice communication and control system, and with all ATM radios. This gateway provides interfaces for digital voice, legacy analog voice, SatCom, datalink, ADS-B, TIS-B, FIS-B, and other data services.

The announcement notes that Harris has a long history of developing and integrating system solutions for the FAA in support of the NAS. The company is the prime contractor for the FTI program, which provides critical voice, data and video communications for NAS operations and mission support functions. FTI securely connects more than 4,300 national and international FAA and DoD facilities, manages over 26,000 services, and supports more than 50,000 users. Other FAA programs developed by Harris include:

  • The Weather and Radar Processor, which provides weather information to air traffic controllers in the en-route air traffic control environment;
  • OASIS, which provides integrated weather briefing and flight planning capabilities for preflight weather briefings and in-flight updates;
  • Voice Switching and Control System, which provides the critical air-to-ground communications links between en-route aircraft and air traffic controllers throughout the continental U.S.; and
  • Alaskan Satellite Telecommunications Infrastructure program, which provides voice and data communications between the Alaskan Air Route Traffic Control Center in Anchorage and 64 regional FAA sites.

Beware of sites listing VoIP vendors

Savvy web users know that many sites posing as ‘Top 10″ lists are actually little more than advertising companies that have captured keyword advertising with big bids, then charge companies to be listed.

That system works for everyone except the consumer, who thinks he is seeing a legitimate list based on value, performance or other objective ranking criteria, when in fact, he’s simply seeing the companies that paid to be there.

A VoIP vendor ranking site recently renamed itself in an effort to distinguish itself from sites that are paid to list companies.

According to the company formerly known as CompareVoipProviderRates.com,Instead of objectively comparing VOIP providers, most (listing) sites are simply nothing more than advertising platforms where the highest bidder wins the most prominent placing. Providers are forced to pay hundreds or even thousands of Dollars to be displayed on those sites, and the sites themselves outbid providers on Google AdWords further driving higher the cost of gaining new customers – which in turn drives higher the prices consumers have to pay – consumers and providers lose, advertising agencies win.”

The site has changed its name to www.cheapvoipproviders.org, in the hope better aligning its name with its mission.

According to its announcement, the site is offering:

  • Non-biased rate-based comparison between dozens of providers to thousands of destinations
  • A residential VOIP comparison between leading US providers
  • A collection of VOIP articles

In the future, the site plans to add “a VOIP forum, a non-biased provider review section, and other features to provide genuine user feedback about the scores of VOIP provider choices out there. As opposed to most every other VOIP site out there today, all comparisons are and will keep being genuine and based on real facts – not advertising budgets.”