AOL Totaltalk – Red or Dead?

15 thoughts on “AOL Totaltalk – Red or Dead?”

  1. AOL also needs to drop or lower the $10 monthly fee for outgoing PSTN service on its AIM Triton service. It’s not competitive with Skype or Yahoo.

    OTS… I’m also very interested what Google’s future plans for PSTN. They bought a GTalk add-on PSTN provider earlier this year.

    Will Google remain dedicated to the web-only calling soley for their advertising business and web 2.0 communication? I once thought this would be the ultimate strategy for a Skype-like service. Obviously Skype went all out with “regular phone service”. Web-only avoids all the PSTN hassles. They could also provide an incentive to drive people to use GTalk as a pure IP application and unhook them from their regular phones, especially since most people now have broadband.

    Russell Shaw says this is limiting to GTalk. I say it may be smart, if indeed this is their strategy.

  2. On the other hand, Google PSTN could be pending the proper technology for IP/PSTN service quality. Currently, the transcoding between IP and PSTN suffers in quality as many know from Skype-out. There exists a solution for this from GIPS, Google’s sound technology partner. It’s a border interface solution. Might Google be in the process of implementing this to provide the best quality attainable for PSTN??

  3. Here we go with GIPS panacea. Doesn’t Skype have access to this great solution? 🙂

    The problem is not technology, but deployment logistic. These enhanced gateways need to be deployed at PSTN interconnect points, usually provided by wholesalers. They may be slow moving.

  4. rick, I don’t think the problem is VoIP to PSTN transcoding. I’ve had some Skypeout calls to POTS that sounded better than PSTN to PSTN. I think the problem is actually VoIP to VoIP transcoding (i.e. your Skypeout call actually goes onto somebody else’s VoIP service). Since VoIP based services from telcos are becoming more and more common, along with VoIP-based PBX setups, this is a real issue. Really, what you need is better intelligence within Skype (or other VoIP program) to make decisions on switching codecs based on real-time call quality information.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but Jesse, I don’t think it’s possible for a skypeout to POTS call to sound better than POTS to POTS; the weaker link there is the POTS line codecs. G.711 is as good as you can possibly get going VoIP to PSTN, and it’s not all that good when compared to VoIP to VoIP over wideband codecs such as 722.2 or BV32 or Speex. The only thing about a skype to POTS call that could possibly be better than PSTN to PSTN would be the speaker in your headset vs your telephone’s speaker.

  6. Twitchy, remeber that better is a subjective term. I’m certainly not claiming that VoIP/POTS could have better fidelity than POTS/POTS, just that I liked the way it sounded better. Could this be thanks to the headset I was using — certainly. It could also be that as someone who uses cellular more than any other type of phone service that I have become used to high compression audio codecs and as such they sound better to me. In the same fashion, some people who were heavy analog cell phone users miss the background hissing that was part and parcel of AMPS.

  7. Don’t read too much into this particular announcement. TotalTalk started as a bit of a rogue project and was reselling a package from Allstream (Canadian Telco). I wasn’t aware this had expanded into the US but clearly AOL’s focus is on AIM Phoneline, etc. It looks like they had brand management issues, as clearly what is now AIM PhoneLine was launched last October as TotalTalk. v. confusing.

  8. I’ve used AOL total talk for the last TWO years without and kind of problem AT ALL!!/ AOL TOTAL TALK had some OUTSTANDING features like once someone left a voice mail for me it sent a text to my cell phone. THe ability to use click to dial from my PC. As far as skype is …Its awsome to use their mobile software. I have used it instead of my cell phone min. and the clearity wasnt the greatest sometimes with my sprint phone’s broadband went slow …skype buffered the convesation and slowed the voice until delay caught up. Making a real sounding call with out to much of a drop …and best park no cell phone minutes get used

  9. I’ve used AOL total talk for the last TWO years without and kind of problem AT ALL!!/ AOL TOTAL TALK had some OUTSTANDING features like once someone left a voice mail for me it sent a text to my cell phone. THe ability to use click to dial from my PC. As far as skype is …Its awsome to use their mobile software. kype buffered the convesation and slowed the voice until delay caught up. Making a real sounding call with out to much of a drop …and best park no cell phone minutes get used

    what i can say is the red voip voip service is the best option tada!

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