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Web-Based Phones Still Inferior

A recently released study included test results measuring the quality of many VoIP phone service providers and determined what's probably pretty obvious to most people who've tried the services: Reliability and sound quality are still quite inferior to the quality of traditional phone connections. Keynote Systems, which is most commonly known for measuring the performance of Web sites, tested six services by placing 154,000 calls between May and June. In addition to the aforementioned results, the company found that VoIP was significantly affected by the high-speed Internet access in use for the service. Vonage and AT&T CallVantage were rated the highest among VoIP providers. Time Warner Cable and MCI's UUNET business service scored the highest for reliability. VoIP usage is currently popular among the typical early-adopters crowd because of its low price and portability; VoIP lets users make phone calls anywhere they have an Internet connection. Although the quality is inferior, VoIP is probably here to stay. The quality has improved over the past few years and is expected to continue to get better as technology and users' bandwidth improves. Either that or we'll just get used to crappy quality. It sure worked for the cell-phone industry.

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