Now, thanks to the explosion of internet applications and services, and especially internet phone services or voice-over-IP (VOIP), video calling right to your desktop is both affordable and real for small businesses.
What the fallout will be remains to be seen, but with savings of long distance and other bundled package services nearing the 50% mark, it's doubtful that VoIP providers like Vonage Phone Service will soon go away.
Vonage is part of the growing VoIP Phone Service vendors intent on taking the business away from traditional phone companies who charge more for the same number or services offered as a package with VoIP providers.
Early phones that were dedicated to VoIP service only came in a standard candybar form factor and most required connection to a base station that was, in turn, physically connected to a router or broadband modem.
Most VoIP vendors offer standard features for free that regular phone companies charge for, including called ID, call waiting, call transfer, repeat dial, return call and three-way calling.
VoIP Phone Service has changed the way telcos now market and has also changed the aggressive counter measures traditional telcos are using to stem an eroding service base.
A Vonage VoIP phone system can help level the playing field, no matter if you are a single proprietor of a SOHO business, or a small business with 100 employees.
The higher speeds can be particularly important for high bandwidth applications like Internet phone services (VoIP), video streaming, and network drive access.
These days, you may be able to find VoIP slider phones and flip phones, though they usually don't have the same array of functions as regular mobile phones.
This VoIP cellular phone service is offered by T-Mobile in the United States (branded as T-Mobile HotSpot@Home) and by Fido in Canada (branded as UNO).