EarthLink has teamed with Covad to offer VoIP service through EarthLink’s new DSL service. What is interesting about the offering is that it does not require any additional hardware.
Unlike other VoIP services, including the one EarthLink currently sells for $20 a month, the new service doesn’t require consumers to add hardware. Customers can use their existing phones and plug them into phone jacks as they would with any regular telephone service. The technology, called “line-powered voice,” puts all the intelligence and equipment for offering VoIP service in Covad’s central office, where all the gear to provide the DSL service is housed.
Remember that you heard the term “Residential IP Centrex” hear first. This offering is hot. I have been stating for some time that many VoIP providers are missing the boat when marketing VoIP services. By adding ATA’s, IP Phones, Soft Phones, etc VoIP Service Providers made the customer experience foreign, and for those who are not techies or geeks, intimidating. I believe this offering from Earthlink will result in a customer experience that is much easier to swallow for the “second round” of VoIP adoptors. This, in turn, will result in a higher activation and conversion rate for the company.