US soldiers face tough VOIP call

Soldiers in South Korea will have to pay more to make Internet calls home

U.S. soldiers in South Korea face a tough call on using Internet telephony in the country.

Thursday was the last day the U.S. military community in South Korea could make VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calls through companies based in the U.S., such as Vonage Holdings and Lingo, according to a report Thursday in Stars & Stripes, a U.S. Department of Defense authorized newspaper. Beginning Friday, all new contracts must be made with South Korean VOIP providers, the report said.

For service members used to making and receiving calls to and from the U.S. for as low as $US15 a month, the move to a South Korean provider -- and a local phone number -- could ring up a pricey phone bill.

Because U.S. VOIP providers assign service members a U.S. phone number, these users can be reached from the U.S. without callers being billed for international calling charges. Prices for VOIP services in the U.S. vary from around $US15 to $US25 a month for unlimited local and long-distance calls.

South Korea's major Internet service providers, including LG Dacom, said in June 2006 they would block Internet calls through companies not registered under the Korean Telecommunications Business Act. But after U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Burwell Baxter Bell said the move would impact service members' quality of life, the companies agreed to delay enforcing the act until June 1, 2007.

Demand for VOIP services have surged as service members -- and many others -- seek cheap ways to communicate with their families, friends and business partners around the globe.

Vonage offers a VOIP service that replaces the traditional telephone. Customers connect their phones to an IP-transformation device, which connects to the home or small-business DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or cable modem. Vonage doesn't offer PC-to-PC VOIP service provided by companies such as Skype.

Brooke Schulz, a Vonage spokeswoman, was unable to confirm whether the company's service is no longer available in South Korea and, if so, whether Vonage plans to apply for a VOIP license with the South Korean government.

Companies registered to provide VOIP service in Korea include Korea Telecom, Hanaro Telecom as well as LG Dacom.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?