Vonage arrives

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter, finally checked Vonage out and has officially caught the bug like the rest of us using VOIP….

The features are amazing. I get caller ID, Call Waiting and Simultaneous Ring (so my cell phone rings along with the Vonage phone and I can direct calls to either voice mail). Best of all, I can control everything from a slick web interface. I know these features have been around for years, but my local telco would charge me more for those services alone than I would pay Vonage for everything. I’ll be running in test mode for a few weeks but if the service quality stays constant, I’m going to sign up. The best compliment I can give Vonage is that it just worked. Simply and effectively, like my plain old telephone service, only without the higher costs. [Michael Gartenberg]

He notes the same issues I’ve picked up on, though he’s having difficulty with audio echo, based on (my guess) that he’s using the mic and speaker on his computer without headphones or a headset. This definitely causes a looping sound since things are so close together… get a headset or headphones, Michael – I think you’ll appreciate a serious difference.

I’m not sure how many more people will say that Vonage has to offer the softphone as part of the deal, but it’s clear that many people love the idea of a completely portable number. With the additional clients, you can have a phone on ANY capable device – the trick is getting it to be the same number which is more of a limit Vonage sets for now than anything else. You could have the same number across computers, PDAs etc… Skype gives you this today, but without incoming it’s limiting it’s potential. In time I hope…

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