Ever since I posted that last entry, I’ve been thinking of ever-cooler applications of Voice-over-IP technology. Here’s the best one I’ve come up with: You take a Pocket PC Phone Edition (or an equivalent Palm OS device with built-in cell phone), and you add an 802.11 card and software for Voice-over-IP. When you’re at your home or office, it uses the Voice-over-IP and the 802.11 card to provide voice and data services via your broadband internet service. When you’re on the road, you get your voice and data via the cellular system. At the moment, you would still need two phone numbers to pull off this trick, but someone’s bound to offer this service with a single number soon… And service should be cheaper than the current cellular plans since you will often be using a network connection that you’ve already paid for. The hardware is there; the software can’t be far behind.
I saw this linked a couple of places before I actually got around to reading it. Clay Shirky explains how the phone company is going the way of ZapMail. Go read.
The rise of customer-owned networks is intimately connected to my area of research. I worry that the current technology isn’t really ready for prime time; I don’t think we’ve done what it takes to protect our networks (wired or wireless) from those who would bring them to their knees. Nonetheless, the potentials here are very exciting. I’ve been keeping up with WiFi, but I didn’t realize how far Voice-over-IP had come. Cool. [via Joel on Software and others]