iiNet offers Internet telephony service

Summary:Australia's third-largest Internet service provider (ISP), iiNet, today started offering its long-awaited Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to the public, billing it as a free second phone line.Other large ISPs offering similar services include Internode and People Telecom.

Australia's third-largest Internet service provider (ISP), iiNet, today started offering its long-awaited Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to the public, billing it as a free second phone line.

Other large ISPs offering similar services include Internode and People Telecom. Stand-alone VoIP services are also currently being sold by smaller specialist companies like Engin, Laurel Stream Communications and Freshtel.

iiNet's solution -- dubbed 'iinetphone' -- is a value-added service to consumers of the company's existing ADSL-based broadband services. Free calls between iiNet customers, nil monthly line rental, a free phone number for incoming calls, and free extras like voicemail and caller identification services are some of the service's key selling points.

The ISP has exclusively partnered with hardware vendor Belkin to deliver VoIP hardware to customers, such as VoIP-enabled ADSL modems or the Analog Telephone Adaptors (ATAs) required to connect normal telephone devices to a broadband service. However customers can also bring their own hardware.

A statement from the company this morning served a volley to free VoIP services currently available, such as the popular Skype application.

It said iinetphone will provide "premium-grade voice quality", noting this was "unlike most 'free' and earlier VoIP services".

The service will offer calling rates of 10 cent untimed local calls, 10 cent untimed calls Australia-wide to national capital cities, and 5 cents per minute national calls outside capital cities to fixed phone lines.

An online call calculator will be provided for users to determine international call prices.

The statement noted Belkin's hardware would be available from iiNet from "mid-September", and that although customers could register for iinetphone today, it would take an average of 5-10 working days for connections to occur.

The company has over 650,000 customers nationwide.

Topics: Unified Comms, Telcos

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