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Edge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Video Phone Reply with quote Back to top

We need to speed up the development of this video phone. I know the company is working on this. (Packet 8 already has one.)

I would love to see the commercials highlight a new video phone rather than the silly commercials that are out there now.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

While I would personally love a video phone, and in fact have made past calls for Vonage to roll one out, don't you think that a video phone would be a distraction from Vonage's main selling point of replacing existing PSTN service?

The last thing that Vonage needs now is to become known as "the video phone company" as that would dilute their brand message. In my opinion Vonage wants people to think "cheaper phone service" when they hear the Woo Hoo! song.

Can Vonage survive without video phone service? No, not in the long run, but Vonage needs to acquire the customer base required to turn the corner on profitability and the likelihood of loosing significant numbers of current customers to video phone companies before that happens is small.

Furthermore video phone service, at this point, would likely be limited to Vonage to Vonage calls. This would point out a real flaw in Vonage's current stance towards Voip peering. Vonage can't realistically roll out video phone service that is incompatible with video services from the major IM players, it would be a huge disappointment and probably backfire if the attempt was to acquire new customers.

One of the major bloggers pointed this out with respect to Packet 8 when he mused aloud about the possibility of video phone service interconnecting with other services, including Vonage. Speaking of Packet 8 they have been actively building a patent portfolio around video products. It may be in the future that Vonage will end up paying licensing fees to Packet 8 just to bring these technologies to market, something that they clearly could not currently afford to divert money towards.

I think that a possible strategy would be to roll out a video phone product as part of the soft phone offering so as to limit its adoption until the bugs (technical and legal) are worked out and then to begin rolling out video phone hardware.

[EDIT: Supporting quote from Tom Keating the "major blogger" mentioned above.

New Packet8 videophone coming wrote:
I only hope that this new videophone interoperates with other videophones from other Voip service providers thus ending the Videophone War, as I like to call it.


Also interesting to note is that the "Videophone War" blog entry that is linked from this story is from 2004 about Vonage's intent to release a videophone in 2005. I have mentioned here before about how Vonage appears to have trimmed the fat from their game plan, for example Vonage once planned to expand into Australia with the gains from a round of funding prior to the IPO. So for now it appears if there will be no Australian videophones from Vonage until after profitability is achieved.
]

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Edge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't believe that increasing the subscriber base and development of a videophone are mutually exclusive.

A video phone may even help attract subscribers that aren't drawn to Vonage because of price.

Relative from different cities, friends who live in different countries, etc. can all be targets for this new service.
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taylors
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the info.
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