[access-uk] Re: free phone calls on the net.
- From: "Ray's Home" <rays-home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 14:55:18 -0000
An interesting post Derek, and in a way it ties in with my post of a few minutes ago aimed at Billy. Could be worth taking a closer look. What I want to know is whether it depends on using a computer, or whether a hardware option is usable for when the PC isn't turned on. Shall have to go and see. Ray Personal emails: Email me at mailto:ray-48@xxxxxxxx ----- Original Message ----- From: "Derek Hornby" <derek.hornby_uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> | Hi all, | The following (which may be of interest to some of you) was in The | Times 20 January 2006 | | | TESCO, Britain's biggest retailer, is to shake up Britain's phone | market with a revolutionary service that allows users to make free | calls over the internet. | | The supermarket wants to challenge the dominance of BT by encouraging | people to swap their traditional landlines for the net service, which | allows users to make free calls to anywhere in the world. The | product, which works by converting voice into data and sending it | over the internet like an e-mail, will be available off the shelf | from Tesco stores from today. All consumers need is a broadband | internet connection. | | Tesco is not the first to offer this kind of service; several market | players, including Skype and Vonage, already have it. BT has also | offered a similar service for a while, but until recently it has been | reluctant to promote it for fear of undermining its traditional | sources of revenue. | | Experts said that, compared with rival services, the Tesco tariff was | not fiercely competitive: although calls between users within Britain | and internationally are free, calls to regular landlines are charged | at 2p a minute and calls to mobile networks at 10p a minute. Other | providers charge an upfront fee with an all-inclusive calls package. | | The Tesco service, which will initially be available in 350 stores, | also requires a user's PC to be switched on, which some rival | services, including BT's, do not. | | However, analysts said that Tesco, with its huge network of stores | and access to millions of customers, was well positioned to take the | niche technology mainstream. Blair Wadman, an analyst at Uswitch, the | call-price comparison service, said: "Though the tariff is not | fiercely competitive with other broadband services, it is competitive | with regular landline services, and this is really all about its | retail presence which gives it the ability to make this service mass- | market." | | Andy Dewhurst, head of Tesco's telecommunications arm, said that the | service was more appealing than others on the market because it was | more consumer friendly. | | "With our service there is no upfront contract as with some of the | others, and you do not have to go into any internet site to start | downloading the necessary software, as you do with others." | | Services such as those offered by Skype, which pioneered the | technology, he said, were appealing only to "one tecchie person | phoning his techie mate in Silicon Valley", and not to regular | consumers. Tesco, he said, could make the service a practical reality | for British households. | | A spokesman for Skype challenged that claim: "It doesn't get much | easier than with us. If you can enter a website and click on a link | then you are there." | | Internet phone services have also proved beyond doubt the appetite | for such technology: since Skype was launched in April 2003 it has | had break-neck growth. | | More than 47 million people now use the service. | | Although internet calls are considered old hat in America and Japan, | Britain has lagged behind in taking up the technology because of the | slow growth in "always-on" broadband connections. | | However, broadband has taken off and recently overtook dial-up | access. Broadband penetration is at 34 per cent of households and | research from Ofcom, the telecoms watchdog, found that 40 per cent of | broadband users now have voice or chat applications. | | Critics of the new technology complain about the quality of the | calls, which can suffer because they travel over the internet rather | than a maintained network. The service is also only as reliable as | the connection -if that goes down then calls cannot be made. With | many services, users have to be seated at their PC, sometimes with | the added inconvenience of wearing a headset. | | The basic cost of making calls across the internet is almost nil. The | real cost is in developing software, after which the service exploits | available internet capacity. However, charging is necessary to link | internet calls with the traditional phone network. | | Tesco, which entered the telecoms market two years ago, offers a | mobile-phone service that uses the O2 network and fixed-line service | that uses the network of Cable & Wireless. | | While the supermarket group has trumpeted its success in the mobile | market, where it has more than a million customers, it refuses to say | how many landline customers it has. Analysts have speculated that the | service has failed to take off, although Tesco denies this. | | ** To leave the list, click on the immediately-following link:- ** [mailto:access-uk-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=unsubscribe] ** If this link doesn't work then send a message to: ** access-uk-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ** and in the Subject line type ** unsubscribe ** For other list commands such as vacation mode, click on the ** immediately-following link:- ** [mailto:access-uk-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=faq] ** or send a message, to ** access-uk-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the Subject:- faq
- [access-uk] free phone calls on the net.
- From: Derek Hornby
- [access-uk] free phone calls on the net.