The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

The broadband Lingo

Michelle Thoeny
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Michelle Thoeny
There is an old saying among international businesses: think locally, and act globally. Due to the recent explosion of broadband phone service, many companies are able to do just this— insinuate a local persona while collaborating from a global base. Consider this scenario: Manoj works for a small enterprise software business with offices in San Jose and Bangalore. Their customer support and research and development center is based in San Jose, but more uncommonly they have located business development as well as sales in India. By using a Universal Phone Number, a local number dialed in India rings in the U.S., void of long distance and international calling fees.

This scenario will quite possibly soon be a reality with Lingo, a broadband phone service owned by Primus. In Asian countries like Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong, as well as in Europe, the Universal Phone Number is a new development in telephony communication. Lingo, transitioning from traditional to broadband phone service, is the first company to offer Universal Phone Numbers, something seemingly beneficial for small companies. By using a local telephone number, companies will soon have the ability to call between U.S. and India for a fixed price. Plans to include India in Lingo’s International Plan are being developed. By hooking up a router, which can be purchased at Fry’s Electronics, between the modem and local phone line, small companies can give the appearance of having virtual offices and traditional extraneous phone costs could possibly be obliterated.

If the quality of broadband phone service is as satisfactory as Lingo claims, then the benefits for small companies are many. There is no specific standard to measure VoIP quality, only what is acceptable to the end user. The customer is responsible for measuring if audio quality is comparable to normal phone service, and if Lingo’s service can meet customer expectations, investment for VoIP will surely increase. Many companies will likely be relieved to not have to lease a line solely for international calling. Lingo’s Unlimited Long Distance Plan, which costs $19.95 monthly, includes myriad standard features as well as use of the Universal Phone Number. Lingo asserts the advantage it offers over its competitors besides the robust features set is local number portability, a web managed account in real time and simultaneous rings.

John Melick, co president of Primus, is quite confident in Lingo’s service and the changes that lie ahead for broadband phone service. With the recent explosive developments, he cautioned about predicting the future farther than the next year. But, he did have fanciful expectations. “We’re at a stage now where people are crawling before they walk and walking before they run,” he said. “But, applications that will be made available to these technology and platforms are only limited by one’s imagination.”

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