Bits are bits, as we’ve learned. Drilling down a bit more, broadband phone companies can grab the bits that constitute telephone calls, especially the bits at the start of the message detailing the phone number to receive the call and the number (or Internet address) of the caller. Clever people have determined how to watch for calls, grab certain ones, and add value to them.
Phone calls become software, software switches control where data streams (including phone calls) go, and Internet speeds mean a call can be grabbed, rerouted to a special server, and then delivered without degrading the voice quality. A new age of telephone services are developing, and even traditional telephone users benefit.
CallWave, Inc., (http://www.callwave.com) precedes the wave of new telephone applications. They have two interesting products, both of which use Internet Telephony in a new way.
Their first product, Internet Answering Machine, uses Internet Telephony to watch your line and grab any call that comes in when your computer is online. They grab the Caller ID information and put that onscreen so you can see whether you want to take that call.
You can listen to the caller leaving a voicemail message and click a button on the onscreen application to talk to that person using a softphone installed as part of the CallWave application. If you prefer, you can redirect that call to your cell phone.
Eight-hundred thousand users feel the $3.95 ...