Imagine a new secure P2P (Skype like) offer that also supported SIP in the client. You could use the client software on it’s own (just like Skype) or attach it to just about any VoIP service or phone system for free.
Does it make sense for consumers?
Does it make sense for business users?
Is there room in the market?
Would you use it?
Martyn Davies chimes in…
I would use it, but as a telecom industry insider, I know that I’m not the average business user or consumer. As to whether there is room in the market, I think that depends a lot on what Microsoft do with Skype now that they own it. From a business point-of-view, their efforts are focused around OCS/Lync (and software licenses), so Skype there is not adding to their central proposition. Skype has a lot of users, but produces very little revenue, since the majority just use the free services. As a Skype competitor you would have the same problems getting to the cash.
Skype was really the first company to take VoIP and make it completely trivial to install and use. To do that, they had to take some liberties and deviate from standards (like SIP), so that they could add the magic that made it work from behind firewalls, add security and self-configuration, and integrate video so seamlessly. Like Facebook, once it is clearly the biggest of its kind of services, it becomes the community that everyone must join. I can’t see that another Skype-alike has a way in, unless Microsoft significantly change the rules now.
by davismitch October 5, 2009 7:18 PM PDT
Does anyone notice that this is the same GUI (on the website and for the iPhone app) as Truphone…did they buy the Truphone app and re brand it? And yes…why is this app okay but not Google Voice…come on Apple and AT&T, what gives!
Hmm, I think this might shed some light on things…
Here is a screenshot I took today while trying to sign into the Vonage iPod Touch app with my Vonage Mobile user info. The same credentials I used to create an account via the Vonage Mobile iPhone app. It’s also the same error I get with Truphone iPod app under the same circumstances, no surprise there.
I can’t find any details regarding the relationship between Vonage and Truphone. My guess is that Vonage did a private label deal with Truphone and this screen snuck by the QA/Testing group(s).
After much debate Vonage is going public. It will raise $250M initially which pales when compared to the nearly 700M raised as a private company. I beleive that lost nearly $175M last year (I have not confirmed this yet), not exactly the performance potential stockholders would get excited about.
Nonetheless I wish them the best, they continue to educate the public on VoIP and that’s a good thing.
When I read articles like this one, I have to laugh. Have these guys ever tried to get phone service from an incumbent? It’s like trying to negotiate a mortgage for your home. Hmm, no.. that was easier actually.
Recently I moved my family across town and when I found out that my cable Internet connection was already installed, well.. I was a happy guy.
911 is fully functional now via Vonage but trying to explain that to my wife holding a 2 month old baby is not so easy. So I gave in and decided to call the local incumbent for a landline, let the saga begin.
The local telephone company is on strike, locked out actually. Super, now I get to hop from department to department (they have a few) and talk to various supervisors about my wife’s request for a landline I do not need.
Finally after an hour on hold and explaining myself away a few times I get a girl who is willing to help. She tells me that she has absolutely no idea when the line will be installed nor can she refund or discount the install fee when the line actually does get installed.
Nice service guys.
She then goes on to tell me that the best she can do is send me a cellular phone which I would have to pay for or forward the number we wanted to another line. HA! Excellent. So I explain this to my wife and it’s apparent she wants the number from the phone company because it’s easier to remember. Ugh. Now I get to pay for a line fee from the incumbent just to have it forwarded to my Vonage line! Makes no sense to me. If I had it my way I would cancel the landline altogether.
When I first moved in I had Vonage phone service as soon as my Internet was installed, if the cable company were smart they would strategically partner with Vonage and get a piece of that revenue. Now imagine if I had Internet from the Telco as well. No land line, no DSL. No DSL, no Vonage.
Being an advocate of IP communications I of course use Vonage in my home but I never thought that it would be the only connection I could get.
More on Vonage..