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magic jack PLUS Now Officially Offering HDVoice

MAGICJACKPLUS-250pxThis morning’s news dump included an email from a marketing service being used by magic jack. Some while ago when I heard a rumor that Vocaltec was working on some means of supporting HDVoice in the next generation of their magic jack product/service. While the new magic jack PLUS started to ship backing August todays email was the first I’ve seen that actually mentioned HDVoice.

According to the web site for the service;

“magicJack PLUS™ service has received rave reviews and many people think it is the best Call Quality they have ever heard. The magicJack PLUS™ has added High Definition Voice. Best Call Quality and it’s FREE.”

The big change from magic jack to magic jack PLUS is in the hardware. The little USB interface device once required the used a computer. With an RJ45 connection to your home network the new version can run completely standalone. No computer required. This was largely a competitive issue driven by the NetTalk Duo.

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Insight Into Free Conference Call Services

Stranger-in-a-Strange-Land-bookcover In the novel “Stranger in a Strange Land” the legendary science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once wrote, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” This came immediately to mind when I stumbled upon Fee Fighters where I found a post that was a nice explanation of how free conference calling services work.

The author quite rightly points out that Google Voice and Vonage will not place calls to the rural rate centers with the exorbitantly high termination costs that make the free conference service possible.

My preferred ITSP, OnSIP by Junction Networks, charges a uniform per-minute rate for calls to most rates centers in North America and Western Europe. However, when it comes to those rate centers in rural areas that host free conference services their plan changes. If we call such services they charge us “the true market rate” which can be up to 20x the normal rate. They made this abundantly clear back in 2009 when the policy was enacted.

We find no fault with OnSIP and their policy in this regard. In fact, we decided that we saw value in adding an optional private conference bridge to our OnSIP account, even though it costs us $20/month.

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