The cost and technology benefits of voice over IP are sufficiently attractive to keep me tuned in, and Im not alone. Japan recently announced plans to gradually shift to a VOIP-based phone system over the next decade or so.
Ive been testing the $79.95 Claritel i750, a USB VOIP handset from Clarisys (www.clarisys.net). The affordable i750 phone sounds pretty good, owing to its echo-cancellation facilities, but ergonomic factors, such as a heavy USB cord more reminiscent of a power cord than a phone cord, will prove distracting for new users.
In addition, when it comes to VOIP phones, the rule of the day is BYOB—bring your own back end. I could sign up with various PC-to-phone service vendors to power my calls, but users will see best results in an enterprise setting with its own VOIP back end in place.