Monday, July 11, 2005

Curtains for PSTN?..

I have been using a small VOIP application called Skype ( for the last few months to talk to my niece in USA. It is another comp-to-comp phone application to begin with. But it is not just another one by any standards. It gives me better clarity than the PSTN lines!!! I am serious!!! It is a lot better than ‘just picking the phone and calling my niece’. On top of it, it is free. Mind you, it has provisions for calling a US telephone number directly (that means comp-to-phone) as well. But that costs you a little money.

What is interesting about Skype is that it is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) application. Further, it uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). (You can read about SIP at ). Skype supports voice mail, call in, call out and conferencing features. It is probably the product with the fastest adoption rate in last year.

Recently, I came across VOIP buster (, a similar application which provides virtually free calls to telephone numbers in US and selected European Countries. Here too the call quality is as good if not better than PSTN lines.

There is another application on the same lines which caught my attention recently. This one- Ineen ( - not only supports voice conversations but is actually a video phone. It provides excellent voice quality and fairly good video clarity. The only limitation is, it is com-to-comp.

vSkype ( is a free add-on to Skype which adds pretty much the same functionality to Skype. I am yet to test this one.

The way VOIP is going (though I have serious doubts about the revenue models associated with many of the applications listed above), I can hear the death knell of telephony and PSTN loud and clear. Do you also feel the same?


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