Much of the jargon around the US’s broadband decline focuses on the unrealized goals of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 or on the need for improved telecommunications regulation. Bunk! Just as journalism will survive the decline of the news print business, telecommunications service will survive the the Telecommunications business where functional integration has limited voice service innovations.
VoIP is the demonstration of telecommunication or voice as just another application that has emerged from our networking activity. Quality of “voice over IP” or VoIP continues to improve with options to connect using mobile devices either using a 3G data connection or a Wi-Fi access point. Note no need for complex hardware or QoS systems from large infrstracture companies that drive costs up on the operator voice connections.
The following video from Telecom.tv is an excellent overview of the players offering telecommunication applications on IP connections and even proves the quality of VoIP calls regardless of the air interface used.
The two applications offering highest variety of options are Truphone and a new entrant in the market, Vopium. Both work over the 3G data network and Wi-Fi connections. Truphone was the 1st VoIP application to offer an iPhone and Touch client. Both Vopium and Truphone offer Android clients which allow voice or IM with Skype contacts in addition to contacts on their own service.
Of the ones I’ve tried the quality and options nod definitely goes to these two companies.