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Gigaclear UK Partners Vonage for Cheaper Voice Calls via FTTP Broadband

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 (9:04 am) - Score 2,542

ISP Gigaclear, which runs a number of 1000Mbps capable fibre optic broadband (FTTP) networks in rural parts of England, has joined forces with internet voice provider Vonage in order to potentially cut the price of its packages by removing the cost of a traditional landline phone service.

The ISP claims that the new service, which will run over their fibre optic lines, should offer unlimited UK landline calls for just £5.99 a month (somewhat cheaper than the £15 or so that most people pay for a traditional phone service).

The solution is actually very similar to Vonage’s standard product and would of course rely on your internet connection working, even during prolonged power cuts, in order to continue its operation. FTTP lines tend to have backup power but it usually doesn’t last for long, while old-style copper lines are self-powered.

Matthew Hare, Gigaclears CEO, said:

We are constantly looking for ways to provide additional value to our customers. This partnership with Vonage is an example of that. Up to fifty per cent of existing Gigaclear customers already use Vonage to reduce their monthly communications costs and take advantage of the additional call features Vonage offers once they have reliable, ultrafast broadband. We wanted to make it easier and cheaper for new customers to do so too.”

Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK, added:

Vonage is a very cost effective option for Gigaclear customers. Using our product on top of the Gigaclear service will mean they can cancel their existing telephone line rental agreements – saving – on average – over £100 a year. In addition to saving money, our service offers customers a number of useful features, such as being able to have multiple numbers on one account, being able to choose your number, and being able to have an international number – all great features if you’re setting up, or running a small business.”

Vonage claims that its service will also offer additional call features, such as voice messages that can be sent to mobile devices as text or sound files. Customers who travel abroad can also take their numbers with them by plugging their Vonage adapter into any available Internet connection.

BT is also developing an alternative Fibre Voice Access (FVA) product for its own 330Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premise lines, which is more complicated and uses an analogue telephony adaptor (ATA) built into the FTTP Optical Network Termination (ONT) device at the customer’s premises. But so far we haven’t heard much more about this since its Early Market Deployment last year.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. DanielM says:

    OVH is much cheaper at only £1 a month!

    https://www.ovh.co.uk/VoIP/

  2. FibreFred says:

    Do you think FVA is more complicated? I would have thought it more simple as you get the benefits of VoIP calls but retain the same handset so the customer notices little difference

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      More technically complicated is the context of what that paragraph was talking about since, as you say, it tries to be a closer replacement for the physical phone lines of old than a simple internet add-on like Vonage.

    2. FibreFred says:

      Got ya

      The beauty is once you’ve got your connection you can choose who you want for VoIP, how does the numbering work with VoIP can you retain the same number if you move provider?

    3. Yes it is possible to port your telephone number to a VoIP provider – as long as the relevant sides have a porting agreement in place.

    4. FibreFred says:

      What about VoIP to VoIP though, is that easy enough?

    5. In some ways it might actually be easier. Most VoIP providers probably use one of the large “Range Holders” who actually control the numbers. Thus, for example, if you were with BT at the moment and joined us (www.miso-comms.net) then we would port your number over to “us”, which would actually mean the porting would go to Magrathea who we use to provide us with numbers. If you then went with another VoIP provider who was also using Magrathea then the “porting” would just involve Magrathea updating their records. If you ported to a VoIP provider who used another Range Holder, then as long as Magrathea has a porting arrangement with them then the porting should go through fine.

  3. DTMark says:

    Good move – it’s one of the key factors in what I’ve been looking at, since rurals aren’t going to get e.g. “cable services for £20 a month” and so the ability to get rid of the landline and put the £16/mo or whatever towards the upgraded offering (WiFi or fibre) will assist uptake.

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