WSJ on VoIP

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Rich Tehrani
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WSJ on VoIP

There is an interesting VoIP article in the Wall Street Journal today that discusses the increased competition in the market and how the players may be able to find areas where they can specialize in. James Tobin the vp and general manager of advanced voice services at AOL sees VoIP as a reason for customers to move to broadband. This is something Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder said to me in a recent interview as well.

The article then mentions that the battle will boil down to the relationships the existing phone companies have with customers today versus the ability of cable companies to bundle their services into integrated packages.

The article ends on the note I mentioned above and that is that VoIP providers will have to learn to differentiate themselves.

"The market is still so new, we'll be able to coexist," Mr. Tobin said. "Time Warner has 500 magazines but you wouldn't say that they're competing with each other; it also has two movie studios but they do different things."

I agree with this article wholeheartedly. In the end it is all about services and sticky applications that customers will have a difficult time walking away from. AT&T CallVantage’s conferencing feature was a brilliant addition to the service for example. VoIP allows truly inexpensive conferencing and there is a tremendous opportunity to provide superior conferencing features with a GUI and presence that customers will get hooked on. This is just a start of course. Taking advantage of the integration of a web interface for call control and presence allows a bewildering array of features to be offered that will keep customers on your service and will make others want to join.

 



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