Teleo Tallyho

February 15, 2005

in Skype Journal, VoIP

Teleo 2.jpg
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?

  • The current charge for a “line” — your own VoIP number is going to cost you almost $5 per month. This is also consistent with Jeff Pulver’s LibreTel Offering.
  • Charges above two cents per minute are now daylight robbery.
  • VoIP providers like Teleo are all going to call-forward to your cellphone. Thus mobile operators better VoIP offer our mobile numbers. That’s worth $5.00 per month. Otherwise it is just revenue lost.
  • Teleo has focused on providing a service for laptop road warriers. Still there is no reason why they can’t also offer a SIP ATA box and enable us to replace that Vonage adapter with one that is tranferable later and rings a standard phone too. Just needs a few instructions on the website.
  • I’m still waiting for Teleo or Skype to make it easy to run more than one profile at the same time. I’m sure I can run two Teleo profiles, it’s just not convenient.
  • Prepaid minutes are the way forward. At two cents per minute Vonage’s plan equal $25-5=20 @2cents… or 1000 minutes per month. Their 500 minute plan the same. Just another note to self. Vonage is way overpriced now for what I use it for.
  • SkypeVM will provide an advantage in the “lite version offering when it comes time for Skype to price their premium services. Skype potential service charges are “obvious” now in my book.

    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.

  • { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ed Bott - Windows (and Office) Expertise February 16, 2005 at 8:26 am

    More stuff I saw at DEMO

    Here are a few interesting products I saw yesterday at DEMO. Cloudmark (formerly SpamNet) showed off a browser add-on called SafetyBar for Internet Explorer. It’s a logical extension of their SafetyBar for Outlook and Outlook …

    NevOn Experimental February 17, 2005 at 12:27 am

    Testing Teleo

    Although I’ve commented recently on my main blog about some issues with Skype, specifically critical comment regarding SkypeOut, the paid-for service, that doesn’t mean I don’t like or continue to use the service. Indeed, I remain impressed overall wit…

    Bob Metz February 22, 2005 at 8:33 am

    I just go caught up in a SkypeOut billing credit card scam and tried to switch to Teleo.

    Calls out fine but no sound or voice over headsets. Support is instantaneous via email. But, they don’t have a clue. Worked with resetting Teleo preferences. Tried multiple headsets. Turned off my firewall even though I had opened it up for Teleo. Tried it on multiple machines.

    Loaded, Skype still works fine. (Unloaded for Teleo attempts)

    Unless they come up with something else I got taken.

    Irwin Lazar's "Real-Time" Blog February 26, 2005 at 6:55 pm

    Teleo: Skype on steriods?

    Teleo has been making quite a buzz in recent days.

    Skype Journal March 3, 2005 at 12:53 pm


    I missed the announcement on Feb 9 about Damaka. Damaka is ostensible another SkypeKiller, (the last one I checked out was Teleo) according to the Press. Like Teleo it is using the GIPS Voice engine and it claims it is SIP. After installing it, having …

    jay March 15, 2005 at 6:58 pm

    i have tried Teleo and found a great experiance, its good with good clarity of voice. i feel teleo a good choice for students and small workmen..

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