Vonage VoIP Unveils Full Fledged Alternative To Mobile Phone Plans
Vonage VoIP unveiled some of its future expansion strategies at this week’s Citi Entertainment and Telecommunications Conference.
Vonage VoIP chief executive Mark Lefar highlighted his company’s new mobile applications, which are not yet available to the consumer, but will eventually enable them to make free calls to other Vonage subscribers globally, as well as incorporate its own messaging platform, and calling plans.
Whilst the new product is highly similar to the offering from rival provider Skype, Mr. Lefar said that Vonage’s offering would be priced roughly 30% cheaper than that of its rival. Mr. Lefar also pointed out that Skype was not designed to be a full fledged alternative to mobile carriers, whilst the Voange app for mobile devices seamlessly taps into the smartphone contact list, and offers a much smoother interface.
“Skype is heavily invested in the Skype user name, while Vonage depends on tried-and-true phone numbers.” Mr. Lefar said.
Mr. Lefar added that MagicJack was the only iOS app that did not concern the VoIP provider.
“Our product testing would suggest that it’s nowhere close to same quality that we have, but for folks who are looking for a cheap alternative, but don’t care about 911 services, that are not as concerned about reliability, it’s certainly an alternative.”
According to Mr. Lefar, Vonage VoIP’s offering is a unique all in one communication tool.
Not all of Vonage’s major initiatives have panned out, with Lefar admitting the company spent way to much energy on its Facebook offering.
“There is a certain kind of distance that people want to keep from those individuals and their contacts, and Facebook friends are not the folks that folks want to call on a regular basis via voice. That’s why the bog-standard phone numbers are so important in the mobile apps — make Vonage behave like a regular cell phone and people will use it accordingly.”
Vonage’s new product should keep executives at all the major telcos up at night, since VoIP offerings tend to bypass their revenue model of airtime minutes, replacing it instead with a small volume of data traffic.
“You could be taking over 1,000 minutes a month over VoIP and still be using only a couple of megabytes.So the telecoms don’t even get to replace lost airtime revenues with large 3G or 4G packages — users will get by with a less generous data plan.”
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