Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two years on, Raketu is getting better and better

Over two years ago, Raketu was released to the general public. I wrote a review of the product when it was initially released, which you can find here.

SIP - Session Initiation Protocol. This is the signalling protocol often used in VoIP networks.

For a more technical explanation:

There has been many changes made since I wrote that review:

  • They have IPTV featuring international programming

  • They improved their podcast support

  • Raketu RakOut works on Mac and Linux

  • They dramatically improved their user interface

  • They created two new services: RakOut WebPhone (allows user to make computer-to-phone calls from a web browser) and RakIn/RakSIP. RakIn/RakSIP is probably one of the biggest improvements to the product, since this capability allows Raketu users with a SIP device to connect to the Raketu service and receive telephone calls.

  • Raketu recently launched VideoCalling service, which allows users to conduct PC-to-PC phone calls (voice and/or video).

The most important development in this product, in my opinion, is the RakIn/RakSIP. In relation to VoIP, one of the selling points of Raketu was it had some of the lowest calling rates in the market today. However, since Raketu didn't support incoming calls, they couldn't really compete with some of the other VoIP providers (ex: Skype, Vonage, MagicJack). Now that they support incoming calls, they easily become a true competitor in the VoIP market.

SO/HO - Small Office Home Office

Although Raketu's target audience is the home user, it can also be used as a viable option for a SO/HO business. For example: a computer consulting business with about 2-3 employees may have clients outside the state, or even around the world. While there may be a need to travel to a client's site, it can get very costly. The RakOut WebPhone can be used for video conferencing between the client and the business, provided that both the client and the business have video cameras on their PCs. For the one-time cost of SIP-compatible phones and the monthly cost of high-speed Internet service, the RakIn/RakSIP service can be used in lieu of regular phone service. The monthly costs could be less expensive than standard phone service. If the business gets a SIP-compatible mobile phone (iPhone supports SIP clients like Raketu), the business can integrate their mobile services with Raketu, which could eliminate the cost of additional SIP-compatible phones for the static location.

I am quite pleased with the improvements that Raketu has implemented in their product. I am also impressed with their customer service. This company really listens to their customers and takes their suggestions into consideration in their product development. Raketu is a viable alternative to standard land-line phone service.

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