Other VoIP services like VoicePulse provide users with adapters to hook up their phones to their existing broadband connections. They offer unlimited local and long-distance calling for as little as about $16 a month. Naturally the cable and phone companies weren't happy about this and began offering their own digital phone services. The first was AT&T, the largest U.S. long-distance provider, in 2003. About half the USA's 3 million VoIP customers now get their service from cable companies.
The problem with VoIP is there are still some quality issues at peak times, like voice delay. Plus you don't get all of the advantages unless the person you are calling is also using VOIP. Because so few companies and people out there are using the technology, most businesses don't consider it necessary to shift, even though VoIP saves lots of money in the long run.
You don't need a PC to make VoIP calls. Phones like the the Siemens Gigaset S685IP (above) connect directly to the Internet using Wi-Fi and Ethernet. At the back of this wall-mountable box are the power and analogue landline phone connectors, while the Ethernet connector is at the side.
VoIP has been most successful in the mobile phones market. The phones must have a software called Session-Initiated Protocol, which enables the digital exchange of voice data. Unfortunately only a fraction of handsets come with SIP and there is resistance from telecom companies to lettign consumers find alternative money saving ways of making phone calls. Jaxtr has launched the Jaxtr-on-the-go service that lets people make calls from their phones even if it's a mobile without Web browsing or a POTS landline.