Creative VoIP pricing plans

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Creative VoIP pricing plans

deltathree, announced that its Consumer Group, iConnectHere, has launched the "World Plan", a new calling service that offers low by-the-minute rates and reduced monthly fees. The World Plan includes a free phone adapter shipped anywhere worldwide, an option to choose a telephone number from 12 different countries combined with low international calling rates, all starting at just $6.99 per month. So let me get this straight -- Free phone adaptor shipped anywhere in the world, for just $6.99/month and you get cheap VoIP minutes? Amazing what a crowded VoIP market will do to force VoIP service providers to come up with creative VoIP pricing plans to entice customers.

Of course, there are other providers offering similarly low-priced plans, but usually they're softphone-based solutions or require you to purchase the phone adaptor/ATA. I think as the pricepoint drops closer and closer to zero, value-add features will become more critical in acquiring customers. deltathree has been in the VoIP space longer than most, so they realize this and offer some nifty features. For example, all iConnectHere service plans offer a Virtual Calling Card which allows customers to make calls from toll-free access numbers in 27 countries. They also offer a PC-to-Phone softphone client, which you can use instead/in addition to the phone adaptor. Softphones aren't anything earth-shattering, but if you don't have it on your feature checklist, that's one reason to choose the competition. Other value-add features include voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling, advanced call forwarding and real-time call records.

With such a crowded market in the VoIP space, I think we are going to see more advanced features, such as follow me, conferencing, etc. being offered for "free" to entice new customers and retain existing ones. I think we are only 1-3 years from that turning point where value-add features will finally trump price - simply because with so much competition, prices have become virtually identical even with creative pricing structures.

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