Category Archives: Voice over IP

Encrypted VOIP from Glootix

While most VOIP providers have been ignoring encryption concerns, one European SIP-based VOIP provider, Glootix, is doing something about it. However, their site is still a little sketchy about whether subscribers can use their own unlocked ATAs (analog terminal adapters, used to connect an analog phone through an Ethernet connection to the Internet). Of course, if SIP compatibility is not a concern and you’re willing to be limited to only accessing the service from a computer then Skype is another option since calls placed using that service are supposed to be encrypted until they reach Skype’s PSTN interconnection facility.
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Yahoo Phone Out

Yahoo has announced that it plans to allow its IM users to make and receive calls from PSTN phones at rates that undercut both traditional phone companies and rival VOIP providers. Calls to the US are expected to cost about 1 US cent per minute (or about half of that charged by Skype and also almost half the price of that currently charged by Dialpad, a voip provider acquired earlier this year by Yahoo). We will need to wait and see if these rates are true per minute rates or whether they are based on a monthly subscription that includes a specified number of minutes.

If the new service is SIP compatible then Skype may find itself up against some stiff competition.

Mathew Ingram has more details.

Packet8 – late again

An item from the why bother department:

Packet8 has AGAIN sent out maintenance notifications after the fact. An email received at 3:06 AM yesterday gave notice of scheduled maintenance “to enable provisioning of advanced services” that was scheduled for between 12 am and 3 am.

Canadian wireless carriers don’t want any competition

In case you didn’t notice, Bell, Rogers, Fido and Telus teamed up together to offer wifi access across Canada. They’ve implemented common branding (“Hotspot”), a common website (www.canadianhotspot.ca) and inter-carrier billing (so that a Rogers customer can utilize a Bell hotspot and have their usage billed to their Rogers cell account). Each carrier also sets their own pricing for the service:
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Unblocking VOIP

According to Globes, the Israeli Ministry of Communications has instructed Internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure that their systems do not carry international calls over VoIP. However, the effect of this directive will likely simply favor the use of peer-to-peer voip networks such as Skype which were not included within the scope of the directive even though many now also offer PSTN termination (such as SkypeOut).

Between these types of announcements and the problems some people seem to have with their local ISPs attempting to block VOIP calls, a good solution may be to build in more flexibility to use non-standard port numbers for VOIP traffic. That would likely make VOIP more difficult to block as a service.

Update: There are some reports that this action may be related to cutting down on the selling of cheap international phone cards. As Jeff Pulver notes, a number of Israeli companies were among the pioneers in the development of VOIP and Israel generally has inexpensive international call rates.