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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
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Location: Ontario, California, United States

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pay no attention to the similarities behind the curtain

There are various sources that talk about the technologies behind a particular market. myvoipprovider.com provides some insight behind the operations of Betamax - no, no a tape company, but one that provides VoIP services under a bewildering variety of names:

The Betamax group of VoIP services is made up of 11 apparently different companies. Many users do not realize that VoIPBuster, VoIPCheap.co.uk, Netappel, SIP Discount, Voipstunt, Sparvoip, Internetcalls, Voipdiscount, Poivy, Voipcheap.com and freecall.com are all part of the same group....

List of Betamax VoIP services

Here is a list of services we are aware of; if you come across others, please send us an e-mail to info@myvoipprovider.com

These services provide a soft phone to use on your MS Windows PC, but also work with SIP devices and other softphones (as of May 3, there are instructions for configuring SIP devices on all of the websites):

http://www.internetcalls.com
http://www.netappel.com
http://www.poivy.com

http://www.sparvoip.de
http://www.voipbuster.com
http://www.voipcheap.com
http://www.voipcheap.co.uk (careful, different "free" list from voipcheap.com, and rates listed in Sterling Pence instead of Euro Cents!)
http://www.voipdiscount.com
http://www.voipstunt.com
http://www.freecall.com (launched 29 June 2006)
http://www.voiparound.com (launched 29 June 2006)

Some of these services are also available with a different top-level domain, i.e. netappel.com is also available as netappel.fr, voipstunt.com is also available as voipstunt.de, etc.

The following service is geared specifically towards users of SIP devices and does NOT provide a softphone. It does require an MS Windows program though to register for the service. It will work with standard SIP softphones such as Firefly or X-Lite.

http://www.sipdiscount.com

The following service requires an Internet Connection, a Web Browser, and a normal telephone; it is a web-activated callback service rather than a normal VoIP service (although it is probably
implemented internally by VoIP):

http://www.webcalldirect.com

...

It seems that initially Finarea ran its own Asterisk servers offering SIP/IAX connectivity, they were located in different hosting centers across Europe (Colt Germany, Rackspace UK, etc). Shortly before the transfer to Betamax they started to consolidate all of their services on servers operated by TVIconnect BV, who are PSTN termination providers for callshops across Europe....

Dialing with the Country Code

All of the Betamax VoIP services expect the numbers to be dialed in the following format:

00+44+Area code+number. (44 for the UK for example)

In some countries it is now possible to dial a local number without the 00 and the country code. (This seems to be limited to some European countries, but go ahead and test if it also applicable to your home country). This option depends on the address you registered.

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