Tweak Your Existing VoIP and Google Voice Connection to Talk For Cheap Or Better Still Free

Telephony has become big business. With everyone connected via mobile phones, Skype, VoIP and a host of other alternatives to traditional landline communication systems, suppliers have to fight harder than ever to maintain their share of the market. But now they could have another rival in the marketplace – search engine giant Google.

Google acquired a system known as GrandCentral technology in 2007 and, in their own inimitable style, repackaged and relaunched it onto the marketplace in 2009 under the name Google Voice. It basically offers customers a Google ‘phone number’. When people call that number, Google reroutes the call to a person’s normal handset, rather than having to go through the Skype system of taking the call on the PC.

Although Google Voice seems to be a viable alternative to VoIP and Skype, it does have its drawbacks. Calls are not free if you still have to pay landline charges and connection fees. But by merging the two latest technologies together and using Google Voice alongside a VoIP package, it is possible to put together a package that (apart from the very low cost monthly charges for a VoIP user package) will give you cheap or even free national and international calls.

A merging of technology

VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) has been around for 15 years, and in that time the technology has leapt ahead. Using the Internet to make phone calls seemed to be somewhat slow to take off initially, but as customers realised that it gave them the opportunity to make Internet phone calls for a fraction of the cost of normal landline calls, it has rapidly gained in popularity. Estimates are that by 2015 VoIP could be worth in the region of £21billion in revenue to suppliers. Internet calls are particularly good for making long distance calls to international numbers, allowing friends and family to stay in touch no matter where in the world they are.

By combining the features available on Google Voice with a VoIP set-up, customers can gain the best of both worlds. Google Voice offers a host of features including conference calling facilities, caller ID and screening. But the biggest advantage of this combination is that ability to get cheap or free calls whenever and wherever you are.

A 21st Century approach to telephony

Meshing technologies like VoIP and Google Voice to make Internet phone calls is still in its infancy. Both VoIP and Google Voice as independent entities are still both growth industries, and for many, the thought of connecting the two seems like an added complication to an already complicated lifestyle. But with the growth of smart phones, mobile communications via the Internet is set to become the future of telephony. So why not utilise two powerful products to take advantage of cheaper calls? Sound quality on PCs, laptops and even the latest iPad mean that, as long as you can connect up to a broadband network, you can make calls wherever and whenever you want to. By going through a free service like Gizmo, that merging of VoIP and Google Voice is even easier. It may be that, in the not too distant future, international calls on a landline become a thing of the past as people realise just how much money they could save by adopting a 21st Century approach to telephony.

Voice T1 Phone Service for Small Businesses

Voice T1 is a form of telephone line service that allows multiple users, phones, and computer modems to have access simultaneously. Up to 24 lines can be accessed at one time.

Voice T1 is different than a typical home phone line because it has more than one channel, at a higher speed, and with greater bandwidth. T1 lines, like basic phone lines, can be used to connect both telephone jacks and computer modems.

T1 lines increase the amount of multimedia information that can be transmitted over the line. This is helpful in a small business situation where 5 to 30 users require access to phone and Internet service.

A standard phone line cannot handle high amounts of voice and data traffic. T1 lines can handle 60 times the amount of data as basic home phone lines.

There are various types of Voice T1 lines and services. They are briefly described below:

-Integrated T1-5 to 30 users (Internet and phone access)

-Partial T1- up to 20 users (partial use of 24 channels via Internet and phone access)

-Multiple T1- 50%2B users (allows for high traffic data exchange plus point to point access)

-T1 with DSL- 10 to 50 users (Internet and phone access plus point to point access)

Pricing and Voice T1

Business owners should research several phone and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) before purchasing a service package. Growing businesses should budget for additional features since they will most likely need to upgrade for more bandwidth, higher storage capacity, and more channels.

Purchasing multiple T1 lines is a logical next step in business growth. Larger business may want to upgrade to T3 internet service. T3 service is exceptionally efficient for medium to large-sized businesses and is more cost-effective than multiple T1 lines.

Voice T1 lines can save you money over the traditional POTS lines to the fact that they offer 24 channels. This will depend on the monthly loop charge. The closer you are to the central office of the phone carrier, the cheaper your loop cost will be.

Businesses rent the lines as well as paying monthly rates for their ISPs. An option for businesses with varying amounts of data is the partial T1 line. This line offers only a partial number of available channels (less than 24) but it can be rented at a discounted rate.

Integrated T1 service can be affordable if businesses can find companies that they frequently use working in tandem. Multiple T1 service offers multiple lines as well as the capacity to stream video for video conferencing. This is an excellent option for large businesses not yet ready to commit to T3 service.

Choosing a Phone and Voice Mail System

Phone and voice mail systems can be pretty costly, even for companies with a low number of users. Before investing in any type of phone system or voice mail system, you need to estimate how much your company is likely to expand over the next few years. Failure to do this could cost you or your company a lot of money in upgrade and restructuring costs further down the road. It is better and cheaper to plan and allow for expansion at an early stage, than wait until it is too late.

If you plan to remain under ten users then I would recommend you invest in a KSU-less system. Basically these look like normal phones that carry all the technology and software needed to run a small phone system of up to four lines and eight to twelve extensions. These systems offer many of the features that a full PBX phone system offers. Be sure to check with your supplier what features are available on these types of phone systems.

These systems are relatively cheap compared to other types of phone systems. They are also easy to install, so can be quickly re-located to another location. This type of phone system usually comes as a boxed product that is installed by you, and carries a manufacturer’s warranty. You will have to make enquiries with your vendor as to the level of after sales support that is available. You may find it is much less than if you had purchased a larger more expensive system.

One major disadvantage of KSU-less phone systems, is that they cannot integrate a separate voice mail system. If you do choose to purchase one of these KSU-less phone systems, then you will have to use a voice mail service that is offered by your telephone company.

If you decide that you must have a fully featured voice mail system, and can confidently predict your company will expand beyond ten users within next few short years, then you will be better off investing in a proper fully featured KSU phone system. These systems are typical in companies with around forty users. Some suppliers may recommend installing something called a Hybrid phone system. These systems are ideal for small to mid sized companies of about fifty to a hundred employees, and offer many of the features much larger PBX systems offer.

Below is a check list for when you are selecting a new phone and voice mail system and supplier:

1. Try to estimate how much your company will grow in the next three to five years. Look at how many lines and extensions you have at the moment and decide how many your company may require in the future.

2. Contact potential suppliers, and arrange an appointment with them for a full demonstration. A number of these can be sourced off the internet or through your local business pages. This will also give them a good opportunity to have a look at you and evaluate your potential requirements. Remember to ask them about their experience and if necessary ask for referrals. You could even ask to see a system they have recently installed.

3. Make sure you decide on a rough budget for your proposed new telephone and voice mail system. Ask around other businesses of similar size, what they have invested in their systems.

4. When potential suppliers provide you with a quote for your new phone system, go through them carefully, ensuring they include all of the requirements your business will need. These may include extras like; Voice mail, additional handsets, call handling software, automated attendants, service level agreements (SLA’s) and any other additional features.

5. Once you have decided on one or two suppliers, it is time to get them back round. Remember, they want your business. Bearing in mind the budget you decided earlier, make your decision based upon not only price, but which supplier you think can provide your company with the best service before, during and after the installation of your new phone and voice mail system. Any good potential supplier will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the phone system they intend to supply and install for you.

Thanks for reading

Jason

Voice over Internet Protocal VoIP for Business

VoIP consists of 2 major technologies….

Making Calls Over the Internet–Residential

This is the most common use of VoIP. It is also called VoIP lines or trunks. If you have a high speed internet connection, like cable modem, DSL, or T1, you can use your high speed connection to make phone calls on the internet. There are many companies like Vonage, Lingo, and VoiceWing (Verizon) that offer VoIP lines. Cable companies also offer VoIP lines, but only if you have their cable modem service. So, to boil it down, instead of getting your dial tone from Verizon over the traditional phone network, you get your dial done from your internet company.

Any phone system made (even an old one) can take advantage of VoIP lines. You do not need an IP based (IP PBX) or even IP compatible phone system. This is one of the biggest misconcetions about VoIP.

The advantage of VoIP lines are:

Lower Bills. Usually you pay a flat monthly rate and all your calls in the USA and Canada are free
You can take your number with you. If you move around the corner or across the country with VoIP you can keep your existing phone number even if you move to a different area code.

Multiple area codes. You can get phone numbers from different area codes or even overseas numbers.

Portability. You can move the VoIP router with you and take your service easily with you. You can even set it up to use your laptop with a virtual soft-phone and a WiFi connections to make calls from anywhere you can get high speed internet access.

Features. VoIP lines come with Caller ID, Call Forwarding, and lots of other great features.
The problems with VoIP lines are:

Quality is not as good as traditional phone service, but it’s close and getting better all the time.
Set up can be very challenging, especially if you are planning on using your own router.

Depending on how fast your internet connection is, it may be possible to make several calls at the same time over the internet. However, the more calls you make at once the slower your internet connection will be and the poorer the sound quality of your calls will be.

Faxes, modem, and alarm systems don’t work well over VoIP lines. Sometimes they won’t work at all.
If you need a lot of lines, you may need more then one high speed connection, so the cost of the high speed internet connection may outweigh the savings.

There are some minor technical issue using VoIP lines and Automated Attendants and Voice Mail systems.
If your internet access goes down, all your phone lines go down too.

VoIP lines normally don’t work if the power does out, but you can set up back up batteries.

Right now the Government does not tax VoIP service. If that changes VoIP may not be price effective anymore.
Making Calls Over the Internet–Business

Business class VoIP works in much the same way as for residential VoIP with one major difference. With business class VoIP a T1 is usually delivered to your office that provides both VoIP voice lines and Internet service. This means that your VoIP provider and your ISP are the same company This distinction is very important once you need more then 3 or 4 lines. Since your Internet connection is coming from the VoIP phone company problems such as latency, jitter, and static are greatly reduced.

Basically, your call has to travel a shorter distance. With residential, your call goes from Verizon DSL or Comcast Cable, to Vonage, to the person your calling. That’s 3 steps or hops and problems can occur anywhere along with way. With business class VoIP, the 1st 2 hops are the same provider so things work better and you can get more calls on the same Internet connection.

Business class VoIP also has the advantage of being dynamically allocated. This means that when fewer people are on the phones, the Internet speed is faster. Voice always gets priority, so phone lines are always available. Packages are available from 5 to 105 lines or more and may come with unlimited calling or a large allotment of included minutes.

Business service is far more important then residential, so it’s vital that you choose the right carrier. There are several major carriers like Verizon and Sprint and many smaller national carrier that you’ve probably never heard of. There are even more regional carriers that only service a small area and even more resellers that just package someone else’s service. Let the experts at Teleco http://www.teleco4.com help you navigate through the maze of carriers and offers.

Connection Remote Workers or Remote Offices….Voice over IP Stations.

This is the 2nd major use of VoIP. You can “connect” to your office phone system from anywhere there is a high speed internet connection. Using a special VoIP telephone or a Laptop “soft phone” you can work from home or a hotel and it’s just like being in your office. You have access to all your phone system features including the intercom, paging, all outside lines, voice mail, and even your extension can ring on your VoIP phone. Best of all, you don’t lose the use of your computer. 1 high speed internet connection can run your VoIP phone and your PC at the same time.

With this same technology, you can link multiple office together into one seamless phone system. You can even share lines or the one voice mail system. You can even run your entire phone system over your office LAN or WAN without separate voice wiring (often called Pure IP or IP Based telephone systems), though that is very expensive and complicated and is best suited for very large companies with full time IT staffs.

Voice over IP is very exciting and more and more people are using it everyday. Let the experts at Teleco http://www.teleco4.com help you understand if VoIP is right for you. Voice over IP is available on both the NEC IPK and Toshiba CTX digital telephone systems.

Using Google Voice To Reduce Your Phone Bill

When it comes to voice service, mobile phone plans are complex. A mobile phone user can go overboard and can get thousands of additional minutes that he/she does not even need each month, or they can also reduce their usage and keep an eye on the minutes they use at the end of every billing phase so as to make sure they do not exceed the limit. With Google Voice installed on your mobile device, you can reduce your voice utilization a lot and save moolah by transferring calls via your phone’s 3G/4G connection. On the other hand, if you use Wi-Fi service alone, you can do with your mobile phone service altogether.

Google Voice application was launched in March 2009. It makes use of Voice over iP which is a communication protocol driving multimedia and voice communication through the Net. It sends your voice to the regular voice networks through the Internet. As a general rule, an Internet connection can handle at least 80Kps to send or receive voice at minimum latency. Almost all mobile broadband, DSL connection or cable connection can handle phone calls.

Google Voice is compatible with all Android phones and can be installed easily. However, you will have to utilize your mobile phone minutes to make calls. Another application you need to make calls is called Groove IP. This application uses Wi-Fi or broadband to work. Groove IP transfers calls to your Google numbers from a landline number. There is no need of cellular network in this process.

Now, let us know how to configure Google Voice. Your first step is register for the service and if you already have an account with Google, go to voice.google.com and go from there.

Create an account with Google if you do not have one. Once you have created an account and successfully filled the needed information, proceed to get a new number. Choose the area code and search for your desired number. When you have selected a number, you will have to give a PIN for the purpose of authentication.

After that, look at space below the Google voice page and look at the options. Choose settings and include your Landline phone number. Click on Add a new phone to do so. If your number is valid, you will receive a call from Google for verification.

Once you have set up your account, you then have to go to the Android Market in order to download Google Voice application. But if you already have the application, there is no need to download it again. It is easy to set up the application. Sign in; verify the same forwarding number, which you already set up on the Net, Now, verity the ‘Use Voice” against all phone calls. The Google voice application can also be configured to handle your voicemails.

Remember that oftentimes you can face circumstances when you cannot use the Internet connection to make calls. In such circumstances, turn off the Wi-Fi service and the you can use your mobile phone service provider to make calls. Now, you may have come to know how to save money on your phone bill with Google Voice.

Video Conference Solution Or Video Phone Technology – Now Ready in Australia

Remember the American movie “Total Recall” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the 90’s? There was a scene where he was making a phone call but he could see who he was talking to on the other end. Fast forward 20 years later, that technology now has become a reality. We have now broken the barrier of video compression and challenges of internet speeds. Gone are the days of talking to someone over the phone and not seeing them. This revolutionary video conference solution will allow you to visually communicate with your loved ones like never before. Imagine this, seeing your grandchildren grow up even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away.. Reading and showing a picture book to your daughter before she goes to sleep even if you are out of the country for a business trip. There are endless of possibilities on this video phone technology or video conference solution. In the next 2-3 years, everybody will be communicating via Digital Video Phone and analog phones will be obsolete just like analog CRT televisions are being replaced by Digital LCD or Plasma TV’s. Right now, the Australian government is switching off all analog signals by 2010. After the switchover, free-to-air television will only be available in digital so you’ll need to have a television that is capable of receiving digital signals else you end up with a brick TV. Pretty soon, after Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is in place, all analog phones will also be a thing of the past.

The advantages of going digital is making International video conference or video calling to US, Canada, and most of Europe absolutely free of charge. If your video phone service provider is in Australia, you can call any landline phones anywhere in Australia free of charge as well. Of course, they won’t be able to see you because they are using a regular analog phone but the savings you get for not paying connection fees, flag falls, STD rates that you normally pay your telecommunications provider, would be quite substantial. Another advantage of this piece of technology is its user friendliness. You don’t have to be a technical person to operate it; in fact even a 2-year old child or 80-year old grandparent can do it. The video phone will always be ready to make and receive calls without having your computer turned on or tying up your computer. You are able to call your love one like your always do – except now you will enjoy the experience of seeing and talking face-to-face with the simplicity and ease of using a regular phone. It has all the features of a regular analog phone like call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, conference calls, speaker phone plus some other features like video messaging and digital photo frame when the video phone is not in use.

So, how can we make video conference solution or video phone technology become a reality in our daily life? The first thing you require is a good Digital telecommunications service provider. Now, I’m not saying that the largest telco is always the best or will even have this particular service. Try to look for a company that has a proven track record for VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol) services and shop around and work out what rates are best for you. VOIP in layman’s term is a digital technology that allows you to make voice and video communications over broadband internet connection – instead of the regular analog (voice) phone line. The second thing you need is a broadband internet connection. Now, you might say, ‘Don’t I need a phone line anyway to have an internet connection’? The answer is NO. There are a couple of solutions to have internet connection without having a regular phone line. One is ‘cable internet’ where your internet provider uses your cable TV line (ie Foxtel) to transfer data to your modem. Another one is Naked ADSL2+, where it’s similar to having an ADSL connection minus the requirement for you to have a phone line. The last one is the actual VOIP phone unit that has video capability that makes it totally independent from your computer. What makes this so great is your phone will always be ready to make and receive calls without having your computer turned on tying up your computer. This would have a built-in camera in front of a 7″ LCD display to obviously see the person on the other end and vice-versa.

Voice over Internet Protocal VoIP for Business

VoIP consists of 2 major technologies….

Making Calls Over the Internet–Residential

This is the most common use of VoIP. It is also called VoIP lines or trunks. If you have a high speed internet connection, like cable modem, DSL, or T1, you can use your high speed connection to make phone calls on the internet. There are many companies like Vonage, Lingo, and VoiceWing (Verizon) that offer VoIP lines. Cable companies also offer VoIP lines, but only if you have their cable modem service. So, to boil it down, instead of getting your dial tone from Verizon over the traditional phone network, you get your dial done from your internet company.

Any phone system made (even an old one) can take advantage of VoIP lines. You do not need an IP based (IP PBX) or even IP compatible phone system. This is one of the biggest misconcetions about VoIP.

The advantage of VoIP lines are:

Lower Bills. Usually you pay a flat monthly rate and all your calls in the USA and Canada are free
You can take your number with you. If you move around the corner or across the country with VoIP you can keep your existing phone number even if you move to a different area code.

Multiple area codes. You can get phone numbers from different area codes or even overseas numbers.

Portability. You can move the VoIP router with you and take your service easily with you. You can even set it up to use your laptop with a virtual soft-phone and a WiFi connections to make calls from anywhere you can get high speed internet access.

Features. VoIP lines come with Caller ID, Call Forwarding, and lots of other great features.
The problems with VoIP lines are:

Quality is not as good as traditional phone service, but it’s close and getting better all the time.
Set up can be very challenging, especially if you are planning on using your own router.

Depending on how fast your internet connection is, it may be possible to make several calls at the same time over the internet. However, the more calls you make at once the slower your internet connection will be and the poorer the sound quality of your calls will be.

Faxes, modem, and alarm systems don’t work well over VoIP lines. Sometimes they won’t work at all.
If you need a lot of lines, you may need more then one high speed connection, so the cost of the high speed internet connection may outweigh the savings.

There are some minor technical issue using VoIP lines and Automated Attendants and Voice Mail systems.
If your internet access goes down, all your phone lines go down too.

VoIP lines normally don’t work if the power does out, but you can set up back up batteries.

Right now the Government does not tax VoIP service. If that changes VoIP may not be price effective anymore.
Making Calls Over the Internet–Business

Business class VoIP works in much the same way as for residential VoIP with one major difference. With business class VoIP a T1 is usually delivered to your office that provides both VoIP voice lines and Internet service. This means that your VoIP provider and your ISP are the same company This distinction is very important once you need more then 3 or 4 lines. Since your Internet connection is coming from the VoIP phone company problems such as latency, jitter, and static are greatly reduced.

Basically, your call has to travel a shorter distance. With residential, your call goes from Verizon DSL or Comcast Cable, to Vonage, to the person your calling. That’s 3 steps or hops and problems can occur anywhere along with way. With business class VoIP, the 1st 2 hops are the same provider so things work better and you can get more calls on the same Internet connection.

Business class VoIP also has the advantage of being dynamically allocated. This means that when fewer people are on the phones, the Internet speed is faster. Voice always gets priority, so phone lines are always available. Packages are available from 5 to 105 lines or more and may come with unlimited calling or a large allotment of included minutes.

Business service is far more important then residential, so it’s vital that you choose the right carrier. There are several major carriers like Verizon and Sprint and many smaller national carrier that you’ve probably never heard of. There are even more regional carriers that only service a small area and even more resellers that just package someone else’s service. Let the experts at Teleco http://www.teleco4.com help you navigate through the maze of carriers and offers.

Connection Remote Workers or Remote Offices….Voice over IP Stations.

This is the 2nd major use of VoIP. You can “connect” to your office phone system from anywhere there is a high speed internet connection. Using a special VoIP telephone or a Laptop “soft phone” you can work from home or a hotel and it’s just like being in your office. You have access to all your phone system features including the intercom, paging, all outside lines, voice mail, and even your extension can ring on your VoIP phone. Best of all, you don’t lose the use of your computer. 1 high speed internet connection can run your VoIP phone and your PC at the same time.

With this same technology, you can link multiple office together into one seamless phone system. You can even share lines or the one voice mail system. You can even run your entire phone system over your office LAN or WAN without separate voice wiring (often called Pure IP or IP Based telephone systems), though that is very expensive and complicated and is best suited for very large companies with full time IT staffs.

Voice over IP is very exciting and more and more people are using it everyday. Let the experts at Teleco http://www.teleco4.com help you understand if VoIP is right for you. Voice over IP is available on both the NEC IPK and Toshiba CTX digital telephone systems.

Using Google Voice To Reduce Your Phone Bill

When it comes to voice service, mobile phone plans are complex. A mobile phone user can go overboard and can get thousands of additional minutes that he/she does not even need each month, or they can also reduce their usage and keep an eye on the minutes they use at the end of every billing phase so as to make sure they do not exceed the limit. With Google Voice installed on your mobile device, you can reduce your voice utilization a lot and save moolah by transferring calls via your phone’s 3G/4G connection. On the other hand, if you use Wi-Fi service alone, you can do with your mobile phone service altogether.

Google Voice application was launched in March 2009. It makes use of Voice over iP which is a communication protocol driving multimedia and voice communication through the Net. It sends your voice to the regular voice networks through the Internet. As a general rule, an Internet connection can handle at least 80Kps to send or receive voice at minimum latency. Almost all mobile broadband, DSL connection or cable connection can handle phone calls.

Google Voice is compatible with all Android phones and can be installed easily. However, you will have to utilize your mobile phone minutes to make calls. Another application you need to make calls is called Groove IP. This application uses Wi-Fi or broadband to work. Groove IP transfers calls to your Google numbers from a landline number. There is no need of cellular network in this process.

Now, let us know how to configure Google Voice. Your first step is register for the service and if you already have an account with Google, go to voice.google.com and go from there.

Create an account with Google if you do not have one. Once you have created an account and successfully filled the needed information, proceed to get a new number. Choose the area code and search for your desired number. When you have selected a number, you will have to give a PIN for the purpose of authentication.

After that, look at space below the Google voice page and look at the options. Choose settings and include your Landline phone number. Click on Add a new phone to do so. If your number is valid, you will receive a call from Google for verification.

Once you have set up your account, you then have to go to the Android Market in order to download Google Voice application. But if you already have the application, there is no need to download it again. It is easy to set up the application. Sign in; verify the same forwarding number, which you already set up on the Net, Now, verity the ‘Use Voice” against all phone calls. The Google voice application can also be configured to handle your voicemails.

Remember that oftentimes you can face circumstances when you cannot use the Internet connection to make calls. In such circumstances, turn off the Wi-Fi service and the you can use your mobile phone service provider to make calls. Now, you may have come to know how to save money on your phone bill with Google Voice.

Video Conference Solution Or Video Phone Technology – Now Ready in Australia

Remember the American movie “Total Recall” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the 90’s? There was a scene where he was making a phone call but he could see who he was talking to on the other end. Fast forward 20 years later, that technology now has become a reality. We have now broken the barrier of video compression and challenges of internet speeds. Gone are the days of talking to someone over the phone and not seeing them. This revolutionary video conference solution will allow you to visually communicate with your loved ones like never before. Imagine this, seeing your grandchildren grow up even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away.. Reading and showing a picture book to your daughter before she goes to sleep even if you are out of the country for a business trip. There are endless of possibilities on this video phone technology or video conference solution. In the next 2-3 years, everybody will be communicating via Digital Video Phone and analog phones will be obsolete just like analog CRT televisions are being replaced by Digital LCD or Plasma TV’s. Right now, the Australian government is switching off all analog signals by 2010. After the switchover, free-to-air television will only be available in digital so you’ll need to have a television that is capable of receiving digital signals else you end up with a brick TV. Pretty soon, after Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is in place, all analog phones will also be a thing of the past.

The advantages of going digital is making International video conference or video calling to US, Canada, and most of Europe absolutely free of charge. If your video phone service provider is in Australia, you can call any landline phones anywhere in Australia free of charge as well. Of course, they won’t be able to see you because they are using a regular analog phone but the savings you get for not paying connection fees, flag falls, STD rates that you normally pay your telecommunications provider, would be quite substantial. Another advantage of this piece of technology is its user friendliness. You don’t have to be a technical person to operate it; in fact even a 2-year old child or 80-year old grandparent can do it. The video phone will always be ready to make and receive calls without having your computer turned on or tying up your computer. You are able to call your love one like your always do – except now you will enjoy the experience of seeing and talking face-to-face with the simplicity and ease of using a regular phone. It has all the features of a regular analog phone like call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, conference calls, speaker phone plus some other features like video messaging and digital photo frame when the video phone is not in use.

So, how can we make video conference solution or video phone technology become a reality in our daily life? The first thing you require is a good Digital telecommunications service provider. Now, I’m not saying that the largest telco is always the best or will even have this particular service. Try to look for a company that has a proven track record for VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol) services and shop around and work out what rates are best for you. VOIP in layman’s term is a digital technology that allows you to make voice and video communications over broadband internet connection – instead of the regular analog (voice) phone line. The second thing you need is a broadband internet connection. Now, you might say, ‘Don’t I need a phone line anyway to have an internet connection’? The answer is NO. There are a couple of solutions to have internet connection without having a regular phone line. One is ‘cable internet’ where your internet provider uses your cable TV line (ie Foxtel) to transfer data to your modem. Another one is Naked ADSL2+, where it’s similar to having an ADSL connection minus the requirement for you to have a phone line. The last one is the actual VOIP phone unit that has video capability that makes it totally independent from your computer. What makes this so great is your phone will always be ready to make and receive calls without having your computer turned on tying up your computer. This would have a built-in camera in front of a 7″ LCD display to obviously see the person on the other end and vice-versa.