Thursday, February 14, 2008

Remember When???? The Vonage Edition

Remember when Vonage was cool, cutting edge? They had great commercials and you really thought you where sticking it to "the man"? I remember that.

I was a Vonage customer back in like late 2002. I had one of the Motorola ATA boxes. It worked...not that great for me but it wasn't bad. I mean, it's amazing how much VOIP has changed in a little over 5 years. I feel for Vonage, but unless they come up with something that is perceived as cutting edge I just don't see how the business model they have is going to survive.

Lets Break it down:

1. Price - At this point in time, cost per minute means nothing.

2. Sound Quality - At this point in time, you don't even need to provide toll quality (thanks to cell phones lowering our expectations).

3. Get your voice mail through the web - Players like GrandCentral (Google) have taken the whole idea of call routing through a web interface to a whole new level.

What do they have going for them? Ease of use. Yep, that's all I can think of. And one of two things will happen with that. You install your ATA and it works well or it doens't work well and drives you insane. That's the 3% churn they are dealing with.

I hate to see them go if it happens, but unless they have a rabbit to pull out of the hat. I just don't see how it's going to work. I'm no longer a customer of Vonage, I turned my service off 2004. I now buy my SIP trunk from someone for bulk minutes and use a GrandStream ATA and Asterisk to do my VOIP. If I need to use a softphone I just use Zoiper and it will allow me to connect to my SIP trunk for calls. It works, it's a little geeky but I have control and I know what goes on behind the scenes.


Perry Lynch said...

Dude. I want your configuration! I just switched to vonage, but have a need for sip trunks elsewhere.

Jim said...

I'm another former Vonage user and have no plans of going back.

I recommend checking out GrandCentral and getting the cheapest local phone service line you can. GrandCentral also works with Gizmo. The biggest negative with GrandCentral is it is currently a free Beta service now owned by Google and will Google eventually start charging for this service.