Is Vonage ready to sell?
After VOIP upstart Vonage reported dismal earnings on Tuesday, the blogosphere started crunching the numbers -- and universally concluded that it's time to hang up on the company. On GigaOm, Om Malik notes that revenue came in below expectations and that churn -- the percentage of customers who drop the service -- was up to 2.3% from 2.1% in the previous quarter -- even as marketing expenses soared.
On Networking Pipeline's blog, Preston Gralla called the company's claims that competition from cable companies would help it market its service "a whopper"of a lie, and dismissed management's projection that Vonage will be profitable by 2008: "That's not going to happen."
Gralla's conclusion: Vonage executives are just hoping to nab as many subscribers as they can and sell to the highest bidder long before their profit prediction is put to the test.
Does Vonage have a future as a stand-alone company? If not, which telco should snap it up?
Vonage works fine for me. If you already have cable, then Vonage saves you 20-100 dollars per month over ATT, Pac Bell, etc. $25 gives local and long distance. It works like a regular phone, ie there is no requirement on the other user to have internet.
I do not think Vonage/VOIP has much of a future competing with cellular telephony. Using VOIP over emerging wireless technologies such as WIMAX may achieve some level of success, but the ongoing cost of deploying, maintaining, and upgrading wire facilities threaten its future.
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