HD (high-definition) voice is getting increasing attention from both users and providers of business VoIP services. It offers a number of advantages over standard voice calling, especially in business situations. It makes calls less fatiguing, and different accents easier to understand. Until now, though, smaller businesses have had trouble taking advantage of the technology. To fill the gap, Phone.com has just added HD voice capability to its hosted phone service for SMBs.
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It's clear that many VoIP companies aren't meant to be standalone telecom businesses – they function far better as providers of features and capabilities to other telecom businesses. The latest example of this is SabSe Technology's acquisition of Mobivox. Although Montreal-based Mobivox offered cheap VoIP calling services of various types, what set it apart was its so-called voice-activated user interface, or VUI. The interface let users dial by speaking rather than pressing keys – a significant benefit for mobile talkers. The addition of this capability will boost the attractiveness of the array of services SabSe is offering worldwide.
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One of the greatest benefits of IP phone technology is that it permits alternative methods of initiating voice connections. Click-to-call, for example, lets users launch phone calls from within Web applications, rather than having to pick up a phone, find the right number and then dial. A more complex example is seamless escalation – say, letting the user move from instant messaging to voice call, or from voice call to video chat for that matter, within the same application – with a click or key press or two. A new beta service from JAJAH brings a similar capability to Twitter users.
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The push to integrate Skype with SMB IP PBXes is speeding up. On the heels of the commercial availability of Skype for Asterisk comes Skype for SIP for ShoreTel. The new capability allows ShoreTel users to make and receive calls via the Skype for SIP service. Skype announced that service in March, and ShoreTel is the first SIP-capable IP PBX vendor to achieve certification with it.
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