Internet Phone Update

Calling Cards

Some time ago I signed up for internet phone service - where your voice gets turned into data that goes out over the internet and then back into the phone network, rather than going via those old fashioned wires. After a few setup hiccups it seems to working nicely and I'm expecting to cut my SBC service back to a bare minimum (for net $$ savings).

Prepaid Phone Cards

I noticed this article in the Washington Post about the plans of Vonage, a VoIP provider (not mine) to offer services via WiFi - basically, you'd have a special handset that works at WiFi hot spots to let you make calls using that internet connection (i.e. not using up your mobile minutes).

It's an interesting idea but I'm kind of skeptical about this particular implementation of it. It means that you have an additional handset to carry, since it doesn't replace your mobile phone. And mobile service is so cheap that frankly it's hard to see that it will be worth it - especially since you will have to pay Vonage for the service. I can see it be useful if you have a WiFi network at your home/office - it could become your "land line" and you could tote it along when you are going to be near a WiFi hotspot so you can make or receive calls on your "land" phone number.

International Phone Cards

But it seems like a clunkier version of what I've got set up; I use my wireless number as my main number, and for $3 per month I have a service from Cingular that forwards all my wireless calls to my home number when I'm in the house (without using up mobile minutes) - I just pop it into a cradle and it's done.

Phone Cards

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