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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - November 29, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

November 29, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. In the news, we'll tell you why today is a very important day for Voip services in the U.S. We'll tell you how to get two months of free Vonage service. We'll look at a new article in which a financial analyst says Vonage would be better off selling its own stock than selling the company outright. We'll point you to a Vonage VoIP Forum thread from a Forum Member who all of a sudden cannot get a dialtone, and a thread from another Forum Member who can get a dial tone, but seems to be getting garbled incoming calls.



Vonage In The Headlines

Vonage Customers Get Letters About E911

Today has been the deadline imposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that said Vonage and other Voip providers that are not able to guarantee complete E911 (Enhanced 911) access to callers must stop signing up new callers in areas where these companies do not have those services available yet. Services such as being able to automatically determine your location if you are using your Vonage line to call "911" from a place other than your physical address of record. 

The good thing is that subscribers in these areas will not be disconnected. As I mentioned yesterday, a group of U.S. Senators asked the FCC for an extension, but as of this morning none had been granted. 

This morning, an article went out on the Associated Press newswire that said that Vonage and at least one other Internet phone provider had not yet commented on their compliance levels for E911. They are supposed to file compliance reports with the FCC by today, however. I know we'll hear more as the week goes on. When we hear more, you'll hear about it as well.

Vonage Offers Two Free Months for "Refer-A Friend"

Last night, I know that many Vonage users received an email from the company offering two free months of service if they refer someone to Vonage and that person signs up as a new Vonage customer. Here's the note that some of you got:

"Tell friends and family. Tell your friend's family. Tell everyone about Vonage phone service.

"You can get two months of free service if someone you refer through the Refer-A-Friend program becomes a Vonage customer. Your friends will receive their first month of service for free* when they sign up for Vonage. Referring a friend is simple and only takes a few moments.

  1. Log into your Vonage account.
  2. Click on the Refer-A-Friend banner.
  3. Type in your friends' e-mail addresses, and click 'Add.'

Remember, the more friends you refer, the more you save! Get started now by referring a friend to Vonage today. Visit vonage.com/referafriend for complete details.

I did just that. In order to qualify, you need to be a Vonage customer in good standing for at least 90 days, and the "friend" you refer has to stick with Vonage for at least 90 days as well. If not, your credits for two free months will probably be charged back to your account.

Analyst Says IPO Better for Vonage Than Selling The Company

In an article that first appeared on the New Jersey Biz site and has been reproduced on the Red Orbit technology news site, a leading financial analyst says it would make more sense for Vonage to go ahead and sell its own stock as a public company than to sell itself outright to an existing, traditional phone company or broadband cable provider.

" 'An IPO (Initial Public Offering of stock) makes sense, says Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research, a Boonton-based telecom industry analysis firm," New Jersey Biz quotes him as saying. " 'They are venture-backed and when you have venture [capitalists], the strategy is to take the company public to make their money back,'" Rosenberg said." 'An IPO is not an 'if', it's a 'when.'"

Rosenberg said he considers a sale a longer shot, since the Internet phone technology can easily be replicated. An IPO, and maybe even a sale, could work while Vonage leads the market, he says. "It's a question of timing. (Vonage has) created brand-name recognition and they have a customer base, so there is an attraction there.' "

Speaking of Vonage's customer base, you'll find some of them on the Vonage VoIP Forum. So let's go there, now.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

New Vonage Forum Member mturner100  is in Cancun, Mexico, and has a question. (Considering how many of us are stuck in cold weather, being in Cancun sounds like a great idea). But the only thing is, if mturner tried to call us on his Vonage line to tell us what the weather is like in Cancun today, he couldn't. So that's why he's started a Vonage Forum thread that he's titled, No dial tone 

"I am using my Vonage in Mexico (Cancun area) - been working great until today at 4pm," he wrote yesterday. "No more dial tone. I have run testyourvoip and speakeasy.net speed test - both report fairly good numbers. 

Then mturner100 adds that Testyourvoip reports a 3.6 and Speakeasy has him at 350 kbs down and 110 kbs up speed. 

"These are results through the Vonage linksys router," he adds. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to try next - I have heard the rumors of the (Internet Service Provider) blocking access - is there a way to test for that?"

Next, I jumped in and posted that "the Mexico blocking is real, but not in months. Your up-speed (what really matters) is not great." Then, I asked mturner100 to provide his full testyourvoip report.

As we wait on that report, the thread picked up a post from fellow Vonage Forum Member istelecom, who, as it so happens, is also in Mexico.

"Here in Sonora Mexico, service (is) OK. Maybe the problem is the ISP," posts istelecom, who adds the names of a couple of ISPs he suspects could be causing the problem.

New Vonage Forum Member sundansx doesn't believe in "dancing" around the Vonage call quality issues he has been experiencing lately. In fact, he's started a new thread about the problem, a thread that he has entitled, Outgoing calls fine...Incoming calls garbled.

"I have been using Vonage for almost a year and it has been pretty good until lately. For the last couple of months, incoming phone calls break up a lot and the voice is garbled to the point that I can't understand it," writes sundansx, who lives in the Portland, Oregon suburb of Beaverton. "This applies to local calls from my neighbor as well as interstate calls from my parents." 

He adds that almost every time he has the person calling hang up and he calls them back the voice quality is much better. But obviously, he is looking for solutions. In fact, he has provided details of his testyourvoip.com test he has run on his setup.

As Trowski so often is, he is the first to respond. "Well, you do have some packet loss on the incoming," he writes after reading sundansx's test results that he included in his post. "That could be giving you some headaches. I might try downloading PingPlotter and run it for a while to see where the loss may be occurring."

So How Do We Come Up With Those Titles For You Members?

I am sure that many of you have noticed that next to each posts, we have a description of each Member- "Vonage Forum Associate," Vonage Forum Evangelist," etc. Most of these titles are assigned based on the number of Posts Members have made.

There's no secret formula. In case you are wondering, here it is:

New Forum Member 1 Post; Vonage Forum Member at least 10 Posts; Vonage Forum Associate, at least 25 Posts; Vonage Forum Junior, at least 40 Posts; Vonage Forum Senior, at least 75 Posts; Vonage Forum Master, at least 150 Posts; Vonage Forum Evangelist, at least 300 Posts, and Vonage Forum MVM, a minimum of 1000 Posts.

As we close out today's Digest, I'd like to remind you once again about some more options you have to receive the Vonage Voip Forum Digest every day. If you go to this page: http://www.vonage-forum.com/syndication.html, you will see a list of RSS Newsreaders from which with one or two clicks, you'll be able to get your Digest delivered directly to your Newsreader each morning. The Newsreaders we've linked to on that page include such reliable and trusted services as Bloglines, Feedster, My Yahoo!, Newsgator and Feedburner. I am open to add others, just contact me with the info of the Newsreader.

That's what's hot about Vonage today. We'll be back on Tuesday morning with our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest,!!




 
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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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