The features that you insist VoIP must have: and the ones you don't care about

Over at ZDNet Datapoint, colleague Chris Jablonski cites a Yankee Group reportthat says that "consumers expect VoIP to match the regular telephone experience."The section of the report Chris comments on has to do with the service features that VoIP "must have" to satisfy what Yankee calls "technologically advanced families.

Over at ZDNet Datapoint, colleague Chris Jablonski cites a Yankee Group reportthat says that "consumers expect VoIP to match the regular telephone experience."

The section of the report Chris comments on has to do with the service features that VoIP "must have" to satisfy what Yankee calls "technologically advanced families."

The most heavily demanded service feature is "service that works 100 percent of the time rather than 95 percent of the time." A full 68.8% of those surveyed classified this criteria as a "must have."

Full-time dependability was followed as a "must have" by "Ability to Dial 911," with 66.4%; "Full-House Solution" (enabling all the jacks in the house), with 49.0%; and "Access To Complete E911"(where your calls can be geographically pinpointed)," 48.5 %.

"Ability to Select Your Own Area Code" was last, and least. It's a must for only 14.0% of those canvassed.

What are the take-aways from these numbers? "This looks like big risk taking for those adopters who dont keep a cell phone or traditional landline handy," Chris says.

I look at the numbers this way. What's the point of using your VoIP to dial "911" in an emergency if you are not absolutely certain your VoIP connection will be up and running?

I'm also rather intrigued by the greater importance "early adopters" place on the ability to call "911" rather than for 911 to find you after you dial. Obviously, finding doesn't happen until the call is placed, but I sense demographics at play here. Early adopters skew wealthier, better educated, and younger than the type of caller who might be at greater actuarial risk of being in such bad shape after they call 911 that they cannot recite the address.

And why do so few early adopters care about being able to select your own area code for your phone number? Two reasons, I'd say. First, for some users there is a prestige factor at being associated with a number in another area code - especially a well-known one.

Second, I think that many folks will use their VoIP number for inexpensive outbound calls while keeping their local number forcalls from the friends and neighbors.

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