Carriers Finally Getting into the VoIP Game?
T-Mobile's VoIP Initiatives
Recently, we have seen a marked departure by one of the United States's largest telecom carriers from their entrenched position which is usually hostile to innovative Internet services such as VoIP. In the past, telcos have approached VoIP with a mixture of fear and loathing. Responses to it have ranged from throttling to blocking it outright. Fortunately due to customer awareness such moves have become highly unpopular and most ISPs now allow users to make and receive VoIP calls unhindered – albeit grudgingly. Recently however there have been signs that telcos in the US are a little more willing to embrace VoIP directly. Certainly not all of them though. T-Mobile has been leading the race so far by incorporating VoIP offerings like Bobsled as standalone applications.
Bobsled is T-Mobile's VoIP offering which allows users to connect to their Facebook friends and chat with them as well as send SMS's to anyone else in the United States. SMS as we all know is one of the most profitable services managed by the telecom companies. It's 100% profit and for a company to offer a messaging application allowing customers to bypass SMS is actually quite courageous. It's a sign that the times may be changing and we might well be looking to the future where VoIP offerings dominate a carrier's services.
Other Carriers to Follow Suit?
It's not just T-Mobile which has been dipping its toes into the VoIP pool. Trenchant opponents of VoIP technology such as AT&T have also been experimenting. Many of us recall the time when AT&T collaborated with Apple to block Google voice from the App Store. For the same organization to turn around and offer rudimentary VoIP services is a huge step though nothing special when taken by itself.
This is great news for the VoIP industry because carriers will have a hard time justifying the blocking of services which they themselves offer. It would be a red flag to the Department of Justice to initiate an anticompetitive lawsuit. The United States seems to be ahead of the European Union in this regard. Which is odd since the latter is famously reputed to have tighter governmental regulation over its industries. It seems the court of public opinion in this case holds a lot more weight. We can only hope that governments all over the world – not just the EU – adopt a more friendly attitude towards VoIP and not be overly concerned about losing revenues from the traditional telecom industries.
Contact your ITSP to find out what business VoIP services they offer. You can get started in less than 15 min. without any hardware to install at your end. Later on of course, you might want to obtain VoIP business phones to mimic the functionality of land lines in your office.