Recently in VoIP Service Providers Category

Vonage raises another $250M

December 20, 2005 2:24 PM | 0 Comments

I guess we can put the expectations of that IPO on hold temporarily since Vonage just raised $250M in convertible debt funding. This brings the grand total raised to $658M. The press release didn't say much apart from the fact that they needed the money for continued operations and E911 deployment.

Andy and OM are not impressed and don't buy the 2B valuation. Well, I didn't believe that anyone would pay 3.5-4B for Skype either but apparently I was wrong about that and for what its worth, I think Vonage brings more to the table and should be valued at least as much as Skype.

Vonage uses SIP which will make it easier to roll out new services and peering with other networks is a snap. Vonage is going after primary line replacement and shows no sign of slowing the pace. Marketing is still huge and they are delivering partnered service everywhere.

If Skype made 20M last year and sold for 4B then Vonage should sell for more than that, hmm.. maybe not.

The one thing I can say is that more people in North America will probably use Vonage in the long run. The reason I say this is becasue market research shows that most people do not want to make calls from a computer when at home. For example, when Telus, the local phone company, went on strike I went down to the local Future Shop and bought a Vonage package and was up and running in literally minutes. My wife was not too happy about using the computer to make/receive phone calls. I even tried using a USB dongle attached to my normal phone, not unlike the Actiontec device, still no dice. Since our computer has multiple login the dongle idea didn;t work.

She just wanted to pick up the phone and call. Lisa is not unlike most other consumers in Canada. Softphones have become easier to use but they still can't replace the telephone in my home, unless of course the softphone is IN my telephone and I just don't know itsmile

Fellow TMCer Tom Keating has something to say about the new Yahoo! Voice offering including PSTN service, I guess I do as well or I would not be writing thiswink He made some interesting comments about an impending price war with PC based service providers including Skype, Yahoo with Google sure to follow up with yet another trump card here.

Andy is always on the ball, and it's no surprise that he is all over this. Andy makes mention that when it comes to content, Yahoo is currently the king. Skype is going to have to play catch-up there, no question. Andy goes into to detail, a good read.

Russel Shaw chimes in with some great comments... "Softphone providers are fighting each other over price point, but I don't think the average user cares about whether a call is 1.7 cents a minute or 2 cents a minute. What matters to them is quality of service. How is the connection? " Good point Russell, how about call completion? Are the majority of those calls getting through? Madhu over at Yahoo! seems to think so, watch his White board video "Is VoIP Ready for Primetime?"

Forbes has a great piece on how SBC is taking Yahoo! to market on cell phones. "Instead of leasing part of Cingular's wireless network, which SBC co-owns, Yahoo! leveraged its preexisting and wide-ranging relationship with SBC (the companies have sold DSL and e-mail packages together since 2001) to put its services on a cell phone to be sold by SBC and Cingular." Combine that brand power with VoIP and watch out eBay!

Om reminds us that AOL and Microsoft are entering the fray "There is word that Microsoft has started to integrate its Microsoft Live with MCI network, and AOL is already offering some of the same features. Skype’s partnerships with hardware makers, while increasing the risk of drawing the ire of incumbents, take away the need for a computer. Yahoo, however could leverage its IM position to become a default “presence manager” but that’s sometime in the future." and don't forget the DialPad purchase... "While, the older Yahoo Messenger had dial-out/dial-in features through an arrangement with Net2Phone, the new messenger will be exclusively using the DialPad back-end to route calls to Yahoo partners such as SBC, Verizon and BellSouth. (That should keep them happy!) The prices of calls within US are almost half that of Skype, something to ponder about!"

What does this mean for open standards? Guess what Yahoo! is using for their VoIP signaling today? Yep, that's right, it's SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which will make it damn easy to federate Yahoo!'s Voice Calling. Google has some catching up to do there but seems to be on the right track.

SIP is it for VoIP and Video signaling, XMPP is it for IM (for now) and together these protocols will deliver us from the proprietary silos of IP communication we have today.

Make sure you check out the new SIP mag when it hits the stands!

SaskTel gets the shaft

October 6, 2005 3:55 PM | 2 Comments

SaskTel is putting up a fuss over the fact that both the CRTC and now the CCTA are on the same page. Both organizations have stated that few or no regs for new era VoIP service providers and more regs for established telecommunications companies is the right way to go.

In the near term, I think this will be good for the consumer. The established Telco's have been in the biz forever and dominate telephony today. Less regs for a smaller voip-centric provider will encourage more competition in the marketplace and potentially spur innovation. Longer term it may have the opposite effect as the ILECS of old lose ground. We need to remember that end-to-end IP is not here yet and we need to rely on POTS for while yet. I can see service interruptions, strikes, and more as the incumbents look to become more competitive.


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This page is a archive of recent entries in the VoIP Service Providers category.

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