As the VoIP service provider space becomes more and more crowded, you are going to see more and more creative pricing schemes. For instance, Greg Galitzine sent me an email with a press release stating that RNKVoIP would be rolling out "Phone for Life" that would allow consumers to pay a one-time fee of $999 for a lifetime of unlimited VoIP phone service. Yeah, you read that correctly.
Let's put that $999 in perspective. Assuming most VoIP service providers charge $22/month (this is just an estimate, Vonage currently charges $25/month) it would take 3.78 years to reach the point where you would "break even" with the current "unlimited monthly" VoIP offerings. And that $22/month is a static number - no doubt it will steadily (or dramatically decrease over time), so it could take 4,5,6 years or longer to reach the point where essentially your phone line becomes "free" for as long as you live.
However, perhaps in 6 years VoIP calls will be free anyway? To choose this service you would be gambling that VoIP prices will only slowly go down and that this RNKVoIP company doesn't go bankrupt or renege on its promise to never charge after the 1 time fee.
I have other questions about this as well. Is this $999 unlimited transferable? That is, can I pass on my $999 unlimited VoIP service to my future children in my will? Ok, I'm not seriously thinking that, but having "unlimited" phone service until the end of time, eternity, hell freezes over, or whenever the Earth is destroyed, but this is a totally new concept that I'm just trying to grasp. Interesting concept, expensive price-point.
Here's the email + release:
Today, Dedham, Mass.-based RNKVoIP rolled out a groundbreaking "Phone for Life" plan that allows consumers to pay a one-time fee of $999 for a lifetime of unlimited VoIP phone service. The offer is being rolled out initially in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. This plan will certainly capture the attention of providers like Vonage and AT&T, and is perfect for consumers who crave simplicity from their phone service (never receive another phone bill, ever!) and tend to make a large number of international calls. Other benefits of the residential "Phone for Life" plan include:
Ability to move to a new residence and keep the same phone and number, or add new numbers
Capabilities to utilize VoIP services via cell phone with full features and low international calling rates
Unlimited calling to domestic U.S. locations, Canada and 20 other countries, plus 21 additional foreign cities
Full features including caller ID, voicemail notification via email, call forwarding and call return
RNKVoIP is a division of RNK Telecom, a privately-held telecommunications carrier that provides wholesale services to broadband providers and carriers. RNK is also offering a $99 "Phone for Life" measured plan that is suitable for businesses. These first-ever VoIP "Phone for Life" plans will be available through RNK's network of resellers including Galaxy Internet Services, ProSpeed.Net and VoIP2SAVE. RNK can offer these aggressive pricing plans because it is fully-regulated, tariffed, profitable phone company with $26M in revenues, no debt and low overhead.
RNKVoIP Launches Lifetime Phone Service Plans for One-Time Fee
First-of-its-Kind Offer Liberates Consumers from a Lifetime of Phone Bills with One Payment of $999
Dedham, Mass. – December 6, 2004 – RNKVoIP, a division of RNK Telecom, today announced a groundbreaking new plan that allows consumers to obtain a lifetime of unlimited phone service for a one-time fee of $999. At this suggested retail price, residential users will receive a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) line, telephone, phone number, full feature set and unlimited outbound and inbound calling. RNK provides 911 and 411 services, and can port existing numbers to its VoIP service. The company's residential and business "Phone for Life" plans will initially be available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and come with a 60-day money back guarantee.
RNK Telecom (RNK) is a privately-held telecommunications carrier that provides wholesale services for broadband providers, carriers and retail distributors. The first-ever VoIP "Phone for Life" plans will be available through RNK's network of resellers including Galaxy Internet Services, ProSpeed.Net and VoIP2SAVE.
Benefits of the $999 residential package include:
- Lifetime phone service, without another phone bill
- Ability to move to a new residence and keep the same phone and number, or add new numbers
- Unlimited calling to domestic U.S. locations, Canada and 20 other countries, plus 21 additional foreign cities
- Full features including caller ID, voicemail notification via email, call forwarding and call return
- Capabilities to utilize VoIP services via cell phone with full features and low international calling rates
- 60-day money back guarantee; after five years, receive 50 percent back if still not satisfied (aside from select charges for phone calls actually made)
- Superior 24x7 customer service
"As the first-mover in the market to offer such innovative service and pricing plans, RNK is improving the way broadband providers and carriers offer VoIP services," said Richard Koch, president and CEO, RNK Telecom. "With our proven wholesale business model, we are in an exceptional position to offer aggressive plans and solutions while remaining profitable. We will continue to change the rules of the telecommunications industry by pioneering high-quality products and services like 'Phone for Life'."
As a fully-licensed, tariffed telephone company with numerous interconnection agreements with local, wireless and international companies, RNK is one of the most profitable CLECs in the U.S. and provides a competitive advantage over pure-play VoIP companies. With its stable financial background, sound technology infrastructure and diversified business model, RNK has ensured longevity in the market. Additionally, if for any reason a consumer wants to terminate their VoIP service, as a regulated public utility, RNK can transfer their number to another phone company or cell phone carrier at any time.
$99 "Phone for Life" Measured Plan
RNKVoIP is also offering a $99 "Phone for Life" measured service that is suitable for residences, but primarily targeted toward business use. With this plan, end-users have one VoIP line, telephone and features, and can receive unlimited inbound calls. Outbound calls can be made to domestic U.S. locations, Canada and 20 other countries, plus 21 additional foreign cities, at the low suggested retail rate of .019 cents per minute.
Advantages for Resellers
RNKVoIP's "Phone for Life" plans are offered at suggested retail prices, resellers will be able to purchase these packages at discounted rates. Resellers benefit by being able to rapidly build their customer base and gain competitive advantage in a crowded VoIP market, while opening the door for up-selling and cross-selling future services.
"RNK's novel 'Phone for Life' plans provide us with creative opportunities to expand our current VoIP offerings while cultivating new end-users," said Bob Carp, president, Galaxy Internet Services. "We trust our brand to RNK based on their track record for providing quality products and industry-leading customer service. RNK has proven itself as a valuable partner that will help us gain VoIP market share and secure ongoing revenue streams."
For more information about RNKVoIP's "Phone for Life" plans, or to find a reseller in your area, please visit http://www.rnkvoip.com/phoneforlife.html.
About RNK Telecom
Founded in 1997, privately-held RNK Telecom is a facilities-based, tariffed telephone company that offers a wide range of wholesale products and services from Voice over IP (VoIP) and local and long distance services, to prepaid calling cards. Through its operational efficiency, industry expertise, technical innovation and focus on customer service and satisfaction, RNK Telecom delivers superior services and profit margins to wholesale customers, including broadband providers, carriers and retail distributors, as well as cost savings to end-users. Based in Dedham, Mass., RNK Telecom is one of the most profitable Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) in the United States. For more information, visit www.rnktel.com.
A division of RNK Telecom, RNKVoIP is the private label VoIP wholesaler for broadband and UNE-P providers, CLECs, cable providers and entrepreneurs. Through its roots as a telephone company combined with its technical innovation and operational efficiency, RNKVoIP delivers high quality custom-designed products and superior profit margins to its customers. For more information, visit www.rnkvoip.com