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Making unlimited calls to regular phones, though, is an entirely different ball game. Not everyone can offer you this. Vonage for example, can offer you unlimited calls in their business package, to US only. For unlimited calling to Asian countries, only company I know of that can do this is TelExtreme. Here's a complete "VoIP A vs. VoIP B" type of comparison chart if you really need it: http://www.mybusinessvoip.com/compare
3) Quality - who owns technology?
I am not an advocate of buying from company that everyone is buying from. You know, companies like Vonage and AT&T CallVantage. I'm not an advocate of "following crowd", but in some cases, crowd may have a point.
Most of smaller VoIP providers don't own technology. Why should they, when they can get whole deal at wholesale, and all they need to do is put their brand on it? This works for short term. For long term, however, such companies have no way of ensuring stability or quality of their service.
Bottom line - find out if VoIP service provider owns any, or all, of technology behind service they provide. A "cut and paste" company comprising of different ATA manufacturers, different call routers and different gateway providers may not survive in a few years when VoIP industry matures. You can count on that!
4) What’s in store for future?
In plain words, why spend on a VoIP provider that is limited to just making calls, especially when many of them already have video and data applications in works? Packet8 already has their own video & voice over IP plan, and many others will follow suit. “Triple Play” as it is called, will soon be available, so make sure that your VoIP service provider has this in store for you. More importantly, it should be available at little or no extra cost.
Gobala Krishnan is a small business entrepreneur and publisher of the "VoIP and Me" newsletter, designed for smart entrepreneurs who want to avoid all the technical jargon and get straight to the information that really matters. Learn how you can drastically cut communication costs by 70%, get more customers and expand to new markets using VoIP at http://www.MyBusinessVoIP.com