The advent of wireless voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) services and the introduction of the 076 prefix will save homes and businesses on average €300 a year on the costs of landline charges, a new provider in the field estimates. It is also estimated that call savings of 50pc per minute landline prices will also be achieved.
Dublin-based Wireless Projects is Ireland’s only certified wireless network provider and recently secured authorisation from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to provide Irish users with the new VoIP numbers. The numbers are prefixed by 076 and Wireless Projects have secured the 777 0000 to 777 9999 range of numbers.
Under the proposed framework, Irish home and business phone users will be able to call existing landline numbers from their PC or a VoIP handset. According to ComReg, the new framework puts it and the UK telecoms regulator Oftel in pole position amongst regulators worldwide preparing their respective markets for VoIP. Along with the UK, Ireland is one of the few markets in the world where VoIP users will be able to obtain geographic as well as non-geographic (076) numbers.
Wireless Projects has said it intends to offer users of its secure Wi-Fi broadband service, Invisible Access, these new numbers in 2005.
Allan Brennan, managing director of Wireless Projects, said the company expects a healthy demand for VoIP over the coming years and cited the fact that 25pc of apartment owners in the Irish Financial Services Centre’s Customs House Harbour development have signed up for the Invisible Access service.
He said business and home users will immediately save approximately €300 per annum in landline charges as the new numbers are adopted, “not to mention the call savings as the per-minute landline prices will be more than halved”.
Brennan said the company works with a variety of DSL, leased line and wireless broadband providers such as Leap Broadband and Digiweb in deploying services. “If you have wireless internet access in your home and have obtained one of the new VoIP numbers there is absolutely no need for a landline any more.”
Brennan said that as more applications move in the direction of IP, quality issues that traditionally hampered call quality will be phased out. “If you are using a broadband technology such as wireless broadband whereby it’s completely digital then the call quality is 100pc digital. It is only when any part of the communication involves copper cabling that quality gets eroded. It is for this reason that we don’t work with Eircom on homes that use asynchronous DSL because that involves elements of copper networking.”
Brennan added that the Invisible Access solution can cater from small homes to medium and large businesses and users can prioritise voice traffic to ensure optimum quality of calls.
By John Kennedy