The telephone industry is slowly but surely moving towards VoIP, with consumer and enterprise demand forcing phone and cable operators to compete with VoIP service providers. Wireless service providers like Verizon are working on VoLTE to compete with OTT vendors. Even cable companies that previously used to offer phone service through copper lines are now providing VoIP service for households.
Still, many of the offerings from entrenched companies lack some of the features that consumers have grown to expect as the default. Even as legacy operators strive to add the latest technology to their service portfolio, many households and organizations have been moving away from land lines. With the increasing proliferation of mobile VoIP apps as well as the availability of high-speed wireless data on multiple devices, few people have any reason to hang on to a fixed line connection that is severely handicapped by a lack of portability.
Time Warner Cable is attempting to fix the portability issue by allowing its customers to receive calls on any device over Wi-Fi. The company recently launched a new application called Phone 2 Go – available on both iOS and android – which makes it possible for people with TWC home phone service to get calls made to that number in any location with access to Wi-Fi. In certain circumstances, calls can even be received over cellular data connections.
Apart from letting consumers use their home phone number from locations other than their house, the app allows people to bypass exorbitant carrier roaming charges when they travel outside the country. Even if a person makes a call from outside the United States, the call will be billed as if it was made within the country. The carrier will not charge extra for the use of this application and rates will remain the same for international calls. Since the TWC home service allows customers to register up to five mobile devices per line, the service has the potential to be incredibly useful for households.
Unfortunately features that would have appeared innovative two or three years ago is no longer new to users. VoIP service providers have offered similar capabilities for quite some time and tech savvy individuals can get comparative service for less cost by using Google Voice with Obi or MagicJack. While this service may be useful for some people, it does not look like it will be enough to stem the flood of users turning in their landlines in favor of wireless connections.