Looks like Vonage are slipping into the UK quietly. As reported by LightReading, they’ve just populated their UK website, and have started taking orders. We can expect the advertising blitz to follow shortly.
For anyone not familiar with Vonage, they are one of the more popular VoIP service providers in the US, currently with more than 400,000 subscribers. In the UK, you’ll be able to make unlimited national, local calls and Vonage calls for £9.99 / month. This is cheaper than the equivalent service available in the US from Vonage, but it isn’t really going to blow the doors off the UK telephony market.
They provide a Linksys adaptor that connects your current analog phones to a broadband modem or IP network. The adaptor then provides the voice to IP conversion (using SIP). This can be used at home, or can be taken to a friend’s house and connected to their broadband. Your phone number will follow the box. You can signup for a soft client, however this is appears to be an additional monthly charge of £5.99 / month. It isn’t clear if you can bring your own soft client.
Similar services are available from other suppliers in the UK:
- BT Broadband Voice
- BT Communication
- Gradwell Virtual Centrex
- VoIP User
- SIP Phone
Personally I’m not ready to sign up yet. I’ve already got Skype account which allows low-cost outgoing calls with no line-rental, and free skype-skype calling. I’ve also got a PSTN number (+44 870 3403830) that routes to my freeworldialup account sip:email@example.com, with pulver.communicator. Jeff Pulver has created a number of peering arrangements that allow me to call Vonage numbers, and allows people with Vonage to call FWD accounts for free.
I’m also still waiting for my SIP/WiFi/GSM dual-mode phone to arrive.