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Will the VoIP services to the consumer, as proposed by Qwest and SBC, require the consumer to purcha

Will the VoIP services to the consumer, as proposed by Qwest and SBC, require the consumer to purchase special VoIP telephones? Will the consumer need to be re-educated with regard to the traditional sounds associated with "dial tone" and "rings?"
More than likely, it will require either new phones or some type of interface at the customer premise to reassemble the data packets into a voice call. Unfortunately, the details are a bit sketchy as to their particular implementation (quite understandably) so it is hard to say. They will probably roll out a package that includes the equipment, similar to the way they do with DSL, etc.

As for dial-tones and rings, I don't think you will see that changing. The neat thing about many of these implementations

is that they are invisible to the end user. As for as the end-user is concerned, it is just like using a regular telephone and most of the complexity is handled in the switch. Now, on the other hand, if they use SIP in their implementation, the user could actually dial a phone number by email address or URL. That would add a "re-education" or actually a continuing education factor, as the phones could work either way.

This was first published in December 2003

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