Copyright 2005 Gobala Krishnan
While doing research on Internet, I realized that most people are absolutely confused when it comes to selecting a VoIP or broadband phone service provider. I can't say I blame them either, when you consider that there are now thousands of companies out there with as many different service plans.
What I often come across though, is question "Is company A better than company B?". To be honest I have no idea how to answer that question. All I can offer is a simple guideline that can help you discover answer for yourself. Here it is.
1) Where is company located?
Does location of company matter? Perhaps not, if service provider is located in same country as you are. However, if you have been offered VoIP or broadband phone services offered by foreign companies, it probably WILL matter.
The danger in subscribing to companies that don't have a presence in your country, legalities aside, is quality of service. Imagine making a call from Malaysia to your friend in Singapore. Now imagine your call being routed all way to US or Australia before it is routed back to Singapore to complete call. Physically, this takes less than a second, but consequences are sometimes obvious.
More often than not, you get a delay in your call. If you understand communication, you'll understand than even a one second delay before hearing a YES or OK can make all difference in your sales talk or discussion. The solution?
Make sure your VoIP service provider has at least a few gateways located in your region, and most importantly, your country. This would reduce distance call is carried and usually result in better call quality.
2) Are call plans unique?
All VoIP service providers out there suffer from same symptom - need to differentiate themselves. That's reason why you get 100 different plans from 10 different companies. Understand, though, that they are all basically same thing.
So if water is water, how do you choose when you flip open refrigerator door in that 7-11 store? Is it color of bottle or price?
The same question can be asked when choosing a VoIP plan. Choose what appeals to you, but don't get carried away by all "Unlimited calls" talk. Understand that any VoIP provider worth their salt can offer you unlimited calls from one ATA (analog telephone adapter) to another ATA that they own, for free. However, consider this - how many people you know are using an ATA from same company you are?