Magic jack.

Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
 

magicJack

"I have never seen a simpler to use product. You simply plug it into your computer, plug in your phone, and start calling. The call quality is perfect ... this device is so simple my grandmother could install one on her PC and begin ..."

Those commercials advertising cheap voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone rates look appealing, but there's always some fine print: You have to switch cable-TV providers, install a VoIP-smart Internet router, or something. And you end up ticked once a month when the bill from MCI, Verizon, or some other telecom robber baron dips into your wallet. If this sounds like your bio, the YMax magicJack is for you: 2 minutes of setup, voice quality that's almost indistinguishable from a straight analog POTS line, and a cost of just under $20 a year for unlimited nationwide service. When I was testing it in December 2007, the service offered phone numbers in about 90 percent of the country. International calling wasn't available at test time, though it should be in the next few months. Pricing will be determined based upon phone rates at that time, though YMax says its mandate is to make international calling cheaper than any rate you can get with either Skype or Vonage.

MagicJack's call quality is amazing—almost too good to be true. YMax reps say they can deliver such great sound because they built the operation as a straight phone company rather than an Internet voice provider. YMax worked to become the only such company certified in all 50 states, which, its reps claim, allows it more gateways linking the Internet and the telcos than any other voice provider has. That means it maintains control of calls much longer than a regular VoIP provider, which in turn translates into high call quality. I have no way of verifying the company's infrastructure claims, but the voice quality speaks for itself.

What worried me is that this network sounds expensive, yet YMax is charging so little. That's how SunRocket got killed. Then again, magicJack customer base was growing at 30 percent a week while the product was still in beta, according to the company, so maybe I'm worried about nothing. And after all, should the service go belly up, you still have alternatives: It's not as if the telecom robber barons will disappear. Bottom line: The magicJack is the coolest little home VoIP gadget I've seen to date, and for less than $40, everybody should try it.

Old News

The Telecom Digest

 
Message Digest 
Volume 29 : Issue 10 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: Connecticutt AT&T operation losing jobs
 Re: Connecticutt AT&T operation losing jobs
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: Long Distance On Same Physical Switch
 Re: AT&T asking FCC for "end date" of switched network..
 Re: AT&T asking FCC for "end date" of switched network..
 Re: AT&T asking FCC for "end date" of switched network..
 Re: Long Distance On Same Physical Switch
 Re: Long Distance On Same Physical Switch
 Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
 Re: AT&T asking FCC for "end date" of switched network...
 Re: AT&T asking FCC for "end date" of switched network...


====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 02:59:54 -0800 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone Message-ID: <KkZ1n.2856$ap2.2285@newsfe18.iad> John Levine wrote: > > If I were AT&T or T-Mobile, I would argue that this device interferes > with normal GSM operation, and it would be true. > > R's, > John > If it were limited to my house how would that be true? Especially in my case where the carriers don't provide adequate signal strength into my residence? ***** Moderator's Note ***** It's not a zero-sum game. The FCC is probably concerned that such a device could become common enough that they would have trouble enforcing the rules at a later date: I'd bet they feel it's better to nip it in the bud. Don't forget that bureaucracies have very long memories: the FCC is, no doubt, harening back to the way the Citizens Band grew into a monster that they can't control even today. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 9 Jan 2010 17:39:35 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone Message-ID: <20100109173935.56865.qmail@simone.iecc.com> >> If I were AT&T or T-Mobile, I would argue that this device interferes >> with normal GSM operation, and it would be true. > >If it were limited to my house how would that be true? Especially in my >case where the carriers don't provide adequate signal strength into my >residence? Putting on my mobile carrier hat, I would say that there is no way to tell where someone might install one of these things, and it's clearly being marketed as a way to bypass the carriers' network, not as a signal booster. I'm not a big fan of any of the mobile carriers, but this does not impress me as a viable way to circumvent them. If the mobile carriers weren't such doofuses, they would give you a free real femtocell if you'd promise to keep service on your cell phone for some period, a year or two. R's, John
Date: 9 Jan 2010 06:05:54 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone Message-ID: <20100109060554.68557.qmail@simone.iecc.com> >> Since I am on AT$T I guess this could help me. But, I doubt it will >> handle incoming calls. > >Does the regular MagicJack have an incoming phone number? Yes, of course. The company is owned by a CLEC which has numbers all over the country, and they assign one as soon as you plug in your device and it registers itself. R's, John PS: A 20 second visit to magicjack.com would have answered this question much more quickly. ***** Moderator's Note ***** According to an article in the Winter 2009-2010 issue of "2600": "While the underlying carrier (YMAX) is a CLEC, MagickJack is specifically not offered as a CLEC product." The article says MagickJack claims to be a "multimedia experience which includes a voice over Internet information service feature. It is not a telecommunications service, and is subject to different regulatory treatment from telecommunications services". It's an open question as to why MagicJack's owners take such pains to try and distance their offering from FCC and local PUC regulation. Also, according to 2600, the MagickJack software cannot be uninstalled, even if a customer returns the MagickJack. The author also rates MagickJack's voice quality "between poor and terrible", and goes on to say that "In my market, MagicJack quality is so poor that the service is virtually unusable". He also notes that "... when you install the software, the End User License Agreement (EULA) has a few nasty surprises", which includes the right to send the customer commercial email messages, display ads on the computer, and supply computer-usage details to Google. Suffice to say, I'd be very careful about purchasing any MagickJack offering, whether a femtocell unit or otherwise. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 09:04:28 -0800 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone Message-ID: <wG22n.3789$Sk4.2128@newsfe10.iad> John Levine wrote: >>>Since I am on AT$T I guess this could help me. But, I doubt it will >>>handle incoming calls. >> >>Does the regular MagicJack have an incoming phone number? > > > Yes, of course. The company is owned by a CLEC which has numbers all > over the country, and they assign one as soon as you plug in your > device and it registers itself. > > R's, > John > > PS: A 20 second visit to magicjack.com would have answered this question > much more quickly. Not really. My presumption was being able to receive a call made to my cell phone number. It appears call forwarding would have to be used to make that work, which in this circumstance, would be a giant PITA.
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 21:54:02 -0800 (PST) From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Connecticutt AT&T operation losing jobs Message-ID: <89adc7fe-2dc0-48f3-9957-303b02f7e1e3@e37g2000yqn.googlegroups.com> On Jan 8, 5:46�pm, Bill Horne <redac...@invalid.speakeasy.net> wrote: > AT&T's plan to eliminate more landline-related jobs in the state has > union officials and state consumer advocates crying foul. Verizon has been cutting jobs by attrition and layoff for some time. > Officials with the Communications Workers of America . . . Many telecom jobs have been shifted to non union positions. For example, I don't believe people who work in the cellphone divisions are unionized. I don't believe newcomer cellphone carriers or landline carriers, or cable phone are unionized either. Many functions for large businesses once performed by unionized telco personnel are now done by non-union employees of the subscribers. The union itself calls itself "CWA" now and for years has sought to represent service workers in other industries.
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 11:30:56 GMT From: sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com (David Kaye) To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Connecticutt AT&T operation losing jobs Message-ID: <hi9pde$o43$7@news.eternal-september.org> Bill Horne <redacted@invalid.speakeasy.net> wrote: >Officials with the Communications Workers of America Local 1298 said >Tuesday that AT&T plans to phase out 160 more installation and repair >jobs by Feb. 19. While I'm a union support through and through, I'm hard-pressed to criticize AT&T for this. People are simply not getting many landlines anymore. The unions should have done as the longshoremen did when containization came to be: negotiate other jobs so that their members would still have work. But they didn't. Where was the CWA leadership?
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 11:28:36 GMT From: sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com (David Kaye) To: telecomdigestmoderator@telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone Message-ID: <hi9p92$o43$6@news.eternal-september.org> Steven <diespammers@killspammers.com> wrote: >The new magicJack uses, without permission, radio frequencies for which >cellular carriers have paid billions of dollars for exclusive licenses. It's not like I have much sympathy for the carriers. For one, the fact that they charge 20 to 25 cents a message for text that takes miniscule bandwidth is unconscionable. And I'm against the selling of the spectrum that they pressured the FCC into granting.

 

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