In principle Teleo (launched at Demo@15) should be on to a real winner. Its SIP compatible, claims a GIPS audio engine and offers very competitive calling rates. In my book they should be very close to what I want. I get an inbound Oakland 510 number on my laptop, and I can forward it to my cellphone. The rates are cheap $4.95/month for an inbound line and 250 minutes. After that you have to add minutes. They also have a Teleo Lite program which is similar to SkypeOut. Some functionality is claimed but not working yet. This includes conference calling (how many is unknown) and voice mail. Currently limited numbers are available for the US and Canada onlly. It is only available for Windows. Still I've played with it and it is at best a Vonage substitute. Apparently it is not a mega-million dollar idea.
Teleo costs $29.70 per six months ($4.95 per month). This includes unlimited voicemail, call forwarding, conferencing, and an inbound phone number that can be called from regular phones. PC-to-PC calls to and from other Teleo users world wide are free. Calls to and from regular phones are charged using PSTN minutes at the lowest rates around (see rate tables). Teleo activation includes $5.00 of PSTN minutes. Teleo
How was the testing experience?
Once installed (I had some issues which may or maynot have been attributed to Teleo) it activates in an easy fashion. I began testing with Bill Campbell, we tested Teleo to Teleo, Teleo to SIP (Vonage) Teleo to PSTN. After I resolved my install problems the quality became very good. I'll have to do more testing before I'm certain. I'm leaving it online for now. I did find that rejecting an incoming call... just resulted in it continuing to ring. Thus I'm in the directory if you want to test it. When you only have one friend these systems are less friendly. I expected everything to have a right click (am so Skype trained) I missed it. The biggest miss of all was no text / chat system. That simple means that Teleo can't replace my IM system and thus for me it is just another PoIP solution only required for the number and the voicemail forwarding to my cellphone.
What Teleo needs to do to beat Skype.
They currently have SkypeIn like capability for the US must begin to offer global numbers. Their account system is neat maybe they could be better if they have the capability to do global credit cards etc. Teleo needs to add both chat and video functionality. Without them it's dead when Skype adds SkypeIn. I'm looking at it as a temporary way to dump my Vonage line. At the moment it's another smart PoIP play. It's most likely to hurt Vonage and similar competitors. It won't do any damage to Skype. Some other difference are clear in the search function. Skype's profile offers more infomation than Teleo's. Ultimately it's an important difference. There is also no way to block unwanted callers. There was no approval function when I added my first friend. Status is limited to online and offline. Thus "presence" isn't understood or managed here. Teleo is developing a voice mail component. By contrast Skype is adding voice messaging. They are fundamentally different. Net net it clones the voice and adds a number and will find that doesn't equal a Skype beater.
What are we learning?
SIP's Final Gasp?
As I look at Teleo I can see there is a lot right. It seems to work, it ties to SIP addresses, captures e-mails etc. And still I can't help wondering. It comes 18 months after Skype's launch, their product plan has been spelled out for over a year and relative to Skype it is functionally crippled. The no chat/text feature blows my mind. This may be their design, however I'm guessing it is more to do with integrating Chat into their SIP solution. SIP SIMPLE is available. Xten in EYEBEAM has managed it. Presence is the future.