The Café As VoIP Calling Center
VoIP which means Voice over Internet Protocol is a cheap way of voice communications between parties using an Internet technology that has been around for a while. The technology is already being used by our telecommunication companies for a long time now in providing long distance calls to their subscribers. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the country is also a big user of VoIP technology on their call centers. The technology could also be used to convert some workstations in an Internet café and have it as a VoIP calling center which is the subject of this article.
The business model of having a café as VoIP calling center is the same as the Netvoice service that was being offered by Netopia Internet cafés (I did not see it on Netopia’s list of services now but the Netvoice site still have news about their tie-up) before. Simply described, the café as VoIP calling center would accept customers who would like to make long distance calls to landlines or cellphones of parties in another countries. The café customer would be charged the usual rent of the computer and certain rates per minute from which the Internet café owner would earn commissions.
It would be very easy to set-up VoIP calling stations in an Internet café and make extra income for the business owner but our current rules would not allow it. In a landmark case recently decided by the Supreme Court, doing the process described above was ruled as “by-passing” the facilities of the local telecommunication companies and violating the existing laws and regulations in the country.
So while cafés as VoIP calling centers would have been beneficial to both Internet cafe owners and the public because of its low cost and widespread service availability, we have to wait for our lawmakers to legislate a new law that will allow such business model. Can you imagine the millions of overseas Filipino workers and their dependents as customers of the technology? If the Internet cafés would be legally allowed to offer outgoing VoIP calls to landlines or cellphones abroad, the commission income that café owners would earn from this business model may help lower the software piracy in the industry. What do you say?