An application that is installed on your computer and allows you to connect to a telephone service and make outgoing and incoming calls is a softphone. The limitations are that these programs are tied to your computer, but if you are desk-bound, no problem.
I am currently on the search for a good softphone application that enables you to not only make and receive calls, but put calls on hold, transfer them to another extension and generally have the functionality of a typical receptionists switch. Here are the links to the two most highly recommended applications I could find:
3CX VoIP Phone for Windows: http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html
X-Lite VoIP Softphone: http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite.html
Each of these organisations offers a wider range of products that you can upgrade to if you like their basic product but as always, you need to be watching out for perpetual license fees. I haven’t discovered anything about the fees yet, so stay tuned for future posts on this topic.
So far the winner appears to be the solution from CounterPath because they have a product called Bria 3.0 which has BLF which basically means that it will detect when others in the group are on a telephone call! There’s some basic Outlook integration. Here’s a comparison of the different software products from CounterPath: http://www.counterpath.com/xlite-comparison.html
After downloading and putting them through a couple inward, outward and simultaneous calls I have to admit that the 3CX phone came up as the one that was easiest to use and has the best User Interface (UI), but I am keen to try out the multi-user functionality of the CounterPath Bria 3.0!Read More
The question is really, what do you get at a hotspot? You get WIFI access to the internet. That means you get broadband speeds without having to pay for wireless devices from Optus and Telstra which are very expensive and you don’t need to plug your laptop into a cable (or visa versa). But more important than your laptop, what about your mobile phone? Most mobile phones these days provide internet access, either using something like Wireless modems (very expensive) or WiFi via your home, office, or public hotspot (no extra cost, except perhaps extra download charges).
I just read a report from in-stat.com which claims that most of the increased usage of HotSpots is generated by SmartPhones, like Apple’s iPhone. It seems that more and more people are using their mobile at hotspots rather than a laptop. I guess these smart phones allow you to access the internet for important things, like email, Google Maps, the weather, stock market prices etc… but the big thing, I think, will be the use of VoIP. I mean, why would you make a call (in a hotspot) at a mobile call rate when you can use your Skype account or Fring (when using with your VoIP account)?
Seems like the future rests in Wifi, whether at hotspots or using the old Analogue TV’s whitespace. Watch this space, should be quite interesting.Read More