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Free cellular calls without a sim card!

Are you doubtful that it is possible?
Well, you don’t need to be an hacker or a computer geek, but simply you need a cellular phone, a free Wi-Fi network and an application called fring.
In the video below is shown how this is possible thanks to fring, an application that uses your mobile internet connection to make peer-to-peer VoIP calls.

By using a Wi-Fi network connected to internet it isn’t even necessary a sim card!
A good idea to use your home or office wireless network for an unusual way to make and receive calls with your mobile device.
Furthermore you can use this system also in airports, hotels and all places that offer you a free hotspot.

Oh, I nearly forgot that fring works over 3G, GPRS and Wi-Fi networks and dynamically adapts itself to the optimal network !

Marketing VoIP Services To Non-Technical Consumers

Not All Consumers Understand VoIP

But you do not HAVE to make them fully understand the technology in order to get them to interested enough to purchase your VoIP service. You do, however, have to give them enough information and understanding of Voice over IP in order for them to be confident in making a buying decision. Here are some tips you can use, as a VoIP Service Provider, to help bolster your marketing efforts in order to increase your subscriber base.

VoIP Service Provider Marketing Tips

  • Speak The Customers Language – Do not use tech speak. Keep acronyms to a minimum. If you had to tell a ten year old what it is that your company does, how would you describe it?
  • Don’t Use High Speed or Broadband Internet to Describe an Internet Connection – 90% of consumers do not know what broadband means or if their service is high speed, after all, even dial-up services promote a higher-speed product. Instead, use DSL or Cable to describe the Internet connection necessary to use the service.
  • Sell Devices That Mimic The Traditional Calling Experience – Telephone adaptors, while cheap, add a foreign device to the calling experience. Rather than wasting your time explaining what an analog telephone adaptor does, sell them and cordless IP phone. Customers are familiar with cordless phones and people like things that they are familiar with. It will save the time and headache of explain why you need and ata and how to install it. If you insist on having an ata, make sure you offer one that has PSTN failover, like a Linksys SPA-3102 or Grandstream GS-488.
  • Explain What Happens When Their Internet Connection Goes Down – Do not just make this a bullet point in the fine print. Use it as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition by explaining the issues and making sure your customers have a “back-up” plan such as a cellular phone or PSTN line for failover. Sure you might lose a customer or two, but the ones you gain will trust you. Trust build loyalty. Loyalty breeds lifetime customers.
  • Show Them More Than Price – If the sole decision was price, then they would have switched year ago. Most non-technical customers needs reasons other than price savings to go through the “hassle” of switching their phone service. Promote the convienence of voicemail to email, how they can use a second number so others can call them for free, educate them on the benefits your features provide them.
  • Do Not Make Switching a Hassle – No one wants a hassle. Make the sign-up process easy, have knowledgeable staff answering your phones, have a number porting system that constantly updates the customer on what stage of the number porting process they are currently in. Make sure devices arrive on time.
  • Make Paper Invoices an Available Option – Believe it or not, many consumers WANT paper bills. Due to their “non-technical” nature, they may not be use to or comfortable with paying bills online. Do not make them do it “your way”, allow them to do it “their way.”
  • Stop Assuming and Start Talking – Stop assuming you know what customers know about Voice over IP. I “thought” I knew what people knew about VoIP, but it wasn’t until I started selling VoIP in a brick and mortar retail environment that I started to “get it.” From there, I actually paid a friend to go out and get people to fill out surveys about their knowledge of VoIP. What I found was that most people know little, are filled with mis-conceptions, and really do not care about VoIP. But do not take my word for it, go out and talk to lots of people about Voice over IP.

While it is one thing to identify points that VoIP service providers need to market to, it is another thing to execute on them. Execution, after all, is just as important as strategy. These points are merely a starting point for enhancing the marketing of your VoIP service – do with them what you will.

Lawyers Need VoIP and PSTN Calling Options

No Service Professional Should Depend on VoIP

Lawyers, and all service professionals for that matter, should certainly utlize Voice over IP service. As Chuck Newton, over at SoloLawyer said, no lawyer should be without it. But solo lawyers and attorneys, and service professionals alike, should never strictly rely on Voice over IP for their business communications. Due to the quality and reliability issues that using Voice over IP as your ONLY communications tool presents, lawyers and service professionals should always keep a PSTN (standard land line) for fail-over purposes.

What Else Should Lawyer’s Look For?

As I highlighted in my review of the Top 10 VoIP Service Providers, lawyers should look for the following when selecting a VoIP service:

  • Don’t Pay More Than $24.99 per month.
  • Do Look For a Service With a Free Device.
  • Watch out for Activation Fees.
  • Wait For Special Promotions.
  • Do Some Research On Others Experience With the Service Provider.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Switch. We All Make Mistakes!

I would add one more for lawyers:

What VoIP Service Providers Offer These Devices

Here is a quick list of VoIP service providers that offers hardware that allows lawyers and service professionals to connect to the PSTN.

Still need more help? Feel free to contact me for more assistance.

9 Benefits of SIP Trunking

One of the biggest “buzz” phrases at this week’s Internet Telephony Conference was SIP Trunking. From the conference track, to the expo floor, SIP Trunking was everywhere. For those of you who are not yet familiar with SIP Trunking, here is a brief overview.

SIP Trunking is based on SIP.

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is an application-layer control (signaling) protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. It is widely used as the signaling protocol for VoIP calling and is widely thought of as the standard for VoIP calling. Typically, a company’s VoIP calls will involve a circuit switched handoff to the PSTN outside of the company’s local area network. With SIP Trunking, the company’s VoIP Service Provider handoff’s calls via the Service Providers SIP Network. Calls that are going to the PSTN will routed over the Service Providers IP backbone to the nearest PSTN gateway.

For the truly non-technical, a SIP Trunk is simlar to a phone-line, except that a SIP Trunk utilizes the IP network, not the PSTN. SIP Trunking also allows for convergence of voice and data onto common all-IP connections.

So why should you be using SIP Trunking? Here are the 9 Benefits of SIP Trunking that help answer that question.

  1. SIP Trunking reduces or eliminates the costs associated with the purchase of hardware media gateways.
  2. SIP Trunking also reduces or eliminates the costs associated with the ongoing support and maintenance costs of hardware media gateways.
  3. SIP Trunking reduces the recurring costs of separate PSTN and data circuits (some dedicated to voice, some to data).
  4. SIP Trunking eliminates the over-subscription of voice channels based on business requirements.
  5. SIP Trunking supports multiple forms of communication including video and instant messaging allowing for greater levels of user presence.
  6. SIP Trunking utilizes DID’s (Direct Inward Dials) that allows each employee to have their own phone line. This increases the flexibility and implementation of call control and dial plans.
  7. SIP Trunking improves the call quality of voice based IP communications because each SIP Trunk is a dedicated “channel.”
  8. SIP Trunking reduces toll charges from SIP origination/termination services to the PSTN for external long-distance and local access calls.
  9. SIP Trunking allows for the selection of a single SIP Trunk which increases the flexibilty and ease of adding, subtracting, or changing a line.

SIP Trunking is a unique product that delivers great benefits to small and medium businesses.

As one of the hottest new products in the VoIP industry, there will soon be an increase in SIP Trunking offerings from a number of different providers. In addition to the 9 benefits of SIP Trunking listed above, make sure that prior to making any business communication decisions on SIP Trunking, you fully consult with your service provider of choice about the implications of this decision on your business.

Ten Questions To Consider Before Selecting an IP Phone

As the Voice Over IP Industry continues to grow and mature an increasing number of equipment manufacturers are offering IP Phone solutions. As the number of possible solutions increase, the more complex the process gets in selecting the proper IP Phone. Here are ten questions (in no order of importance), that if answered prior to investigating any solution, should make the selection an IP Phone much easier.

1. Who Will Be Using the Phone? Executive, Manager, Sales Associate, Associate, Recptionist, etc.

2. What Features and Functionality Does That Person/Position Need? Call Waiting, Call Transfer, Call Parking, Conference, Speaker Phone, etc

3. How Many Incoming Calls Will the Person/Position Recieve at a Time? This Decides How Many Lines Appearances the Phone Will Need.

4. How Often Will the Phone Be Used? Is the Person/Position on the Phone All Day Long or Will They Hardly Need to Use it.

5. What Phone System Are Your Using? Make Sure Your Phones Are Compatible With Your System Prior to Purchasing Them. This is Especially Important With Open Source or Open Source based Solutions.

6. How is The Office Wired? Do You Have Seperate Ethernet Connections For the IP Phone and the Computer, or Does the IP Phone Need a LAN and a WAN Port in Order to Connect to the PC.

7. What are Your Power Requirements? Will You Be Using an AC Outlet or Does Your Network Support Power Over Ethernet.

8. What Protocol and Codec Does Your Service Provider/IP PBX Support? SIP, MGCP, H.323, G.711, G.729, etc.

9. What is the Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty and What Level of Support Do They (or Thier Resellers) Provide Free of Charge? It is Always Wise to Make Sure That a Defective Phone Can be Returned and That Any Installation Issues That You Might Encountered Can Be Handled Without Lengthy Time Delays.

10. What is Your Budget? What Are the Financial Limitations to the Phone Deployment and Which IP Phone Offers the “Best Bang for the Buck.”

By answering the ten questions above you should be well on your way to making the proper selection for your IP Phone needs.

Have a question or tip that will assist in making the IP Phone selection process easier? Add it to the comments below!

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