Verizon VoIP plans take flight with 'VoiceWing'
Verizon has entered the consumer VoIP race with a service that piggybacks on DSL and cable modem connections.
That service, dubbed VoiceWing, will expand Verizon's consumer telephony reach and put it in direct competition with IP voice services such as Vonage and AT&T Corp. 's CallVantage.
Verizon — which will offer the service in 139 markets in 33 states, as well as Washington D.C. — will sell VoiceWing for $39.95 per month, plus a one-time $39.95 installation fee. The price drops to $34.95 when bundled with Verizon DSL. Subs who sign up before Oct. 31 will get VoiceWing for $29.95 per month during the first six months.
In addition to playing up the low price, Verizon noted that VoiceWing will allow customers to select their own area code and traditional phone features such as voice mail, caller ID and call waiting. Customers also have the ability to change features on the fly and check call logs on the Web.
Still, VoiceWing has an Achilles heel shared by Vonage and CallVantage. For starters, because VoiceWing travels the public Internet, the service will not come with embedded quality of service (QoS). The service also does not support traditional 911 and E911 access and won't work during a power outage.
So far, Verizon is offering area codes from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.