Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
Written by Adam Gosling A new VoIP service provider which launched in Australia last month has introduced a novel way of looking at VoIP service provision. Rather than setting rock solid rates and forcing customers to use its preferred network partners, Antratel takes a different approach. With the Antratel service it's the end user that chooses how much they want to pay for their call. Maybe it's the kids chatting to their mates after school? No need for the best quality there, so you can pick a cheaper service network. Perhaps it's a very important business call and you want top notch quality - then you can choose to pay a higher price for (presumably) a better quality connection. It's all up to the user rather than the service provider. Antratel belongs to a global VoIP Exchange and has designed its system to make this transparent. Consequently it lists literally thousands of rates and quality indicators from a variety of different network providers. When you place a call the systems used by most VoIP providers will select connections by automatically selecting the lowest connection price from the exchange. As the service provider has to allow for the call potentially being connected at the highest possible price offered, they sets their call charges accordingly. As a result, they offer fixed termination call prices, sometimes, much higher than prices on the exchange to cover that possibility. Antratel instead lets you pick the call rates and connections you want to use. This also allows users to "Tune Up" their calls. If you don't make any changes, the system will select connections based on the lowest possible price from the exchange. Then that's what you get charged for, not some inflated price that covers their risk. However, if you aren't satisfied with the quality of a call you can tune up a route manually by taking into account factors such as call rate, number of successful calls, number of attempts (not successful calls) and average call duration - all of which are available for you to see. A quick look over that call rates suggests it might be worth taking a look at Antratel's offering. It says calls to Australian mobiles are available from 15 cents per minute, a healthy discount over what most other providers might charge you. It's not all gravy though, while many other residential VoIP providers are now offering un-timed Local or even National calls, Antratel will charge you for every second you use, so it might depend on your usage pattern.