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Vonage In The News
Vonage Holdings Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

Carolyn Katz Elected to Board of Directors of Vonage Holdings Corp.

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Vonage In Print News

Internet Talk Is Cheap, But What People Really Want To Know Is, How Does It Sound?

August 16, 2004

By William Mauldin

Internet talk is cheap, but what people really want to know is, how does it sound? So we decided to give Voip a real test, going beyond the usual method of just making a few sample calls.

Using an industry-approved method, we had six volunteers rate more than 100 calls over four Voip lines, one landline and one cellular phone on a scale of 1 to 5. The tests were blind, of course, and we took the mean opinion score to come up with our results.

To our surprise, one of the Internet services actually beat the landline, something few experts had expected. Two of the other services had noticeably more glitches, like calls that went in and out of service or calls that had a few syllables chopped out here and there. Not exactly what you want for a business call.

Still, at least that's better than what you hear over a cell phone. Indeed, all of the Internet services came in well ahead of everybody's favorite punching bag-- the indispensable cell phone. "Is there an echo there?" said one recipient of a cell phone call -- prompting us to hang up, plug in our Ethernet cord and dial our neighbor over the Internet.

---

PROVIDER: Verizon
MONTHLY PRICE: $59.95+
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: $35.80
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: Yes
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: E911
VOICE QUALITY: 4.0
COMMENT: The old reliable landline was clearer, according to one reviewer, but another heard "some static."

PROVIDER: AT&T Call Vantage
MONTHLY PRICE: $34.99
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: $13.80
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: No
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: 911
VOICE QUALITY: 3.5
COMMENT: AT&T has been heavily marketing its new Voip entry; we found it "a little tinny."

PROVIDER: Vonage
MONTHLY PRICE: 29.99
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: 11.40
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: Yes
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: 911
VOICE QUALITY: 4.1
COMMENT: Startup is biggest in this business, with 200,000 users. It even beat the landline: "Clearer, louder, no static."

PROVIDER: BroadVoice
MONTHLY PRICE: 19.95
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: 10.80
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: Yes
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: None
VOICE QUALITY: 3.5
COMMENT: One of the cheapest services -- but we had to buy a $50 router to surf the Web at the same time.

PROVIDER: Packet8
MONTHLY PRICE: 19.95
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: 5.40
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: No
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: E911
VOICE QUALITY: 3.6
COMMENT: Chipmaker-turned Voip service: "A little broken up," said one tester, but "if this is an Internet phone, I can't tell."

PROVIDER: Cingular
MONTHLY PRICE: 49.99++
INTERNATIONAL BASKET OF CALLS*: 181.60
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE?: Yes
EMERGENCY 911 SERVICE?**: 911
VOICE QUALITY: 2.1
COMMENT: All seemed to agree these calls lagged significantly: "far worse"
than any of the Internet phones.

*The cost of making hour-long calls to Beijing, Hong Kong, London and Moscow.

**Enhanced 911 or E911, allows emergency services to pinpoint the exact location from which you are calling, even if you can't say anything (the service may not be available in all areas).

+Quoted New York City rate for Verizon Freedom Plan, unlimited local, regional and domestic long-distance calling.

++Cost of 600 daytime minutes and unlimited nights and weekends.




 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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