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 Vonage Signs With Verizon For VoIP E 911

Vonage In Print News

Vonage Contracts Verizon For E9-1-1 Service

May 4, 2005

By Staff

Verizon is the first ILEC to work closely with any nomadic VoIP service to ensure emergency calling keeps pace with VoIP technology.

“Verizon is a responsible steward of the E9-1-1 public trust, through their foresight Vonage is able to implement an E9-1-1 solution that will serve all customers,” said Jeffrey A. Citron, Vonage’s CEO. “Unlike other ILECs, Verizon has not recommended Vonage use a CLEC for call delivery, as they recognize the significant limitations of this solution, as it does not accommodate for mobile customers or VoIP users on non-local phone numbers. It is important that all Vonage customers can use this solution, those with native phone numbers and those who chose phone numbers from other areas.”

How It Works:

 Posted by Vonage on Friday, May 06 @ 23:24:41 UTC
 (890 reads)
Read More: Vonage Signs With Verizon For VoIP E 911

 Vonage Calls To Verizon's 911 Will Cost $10 Million

Vonage In Print News

Vonage Calls Verizon's 911

May 5, 2005

By Rhonda Ascierto

Vonage said it plans to spend more than $10m by the end of the year to set up a 911 service for its New York City-based VoIP users using Verizon's wireless and wireline E 911 network. Vonage will pay at least $1m per month for the service on an ongoing basis, the company said.

And a similar deal with Qwest Communications International Inc is likely within the next several weeks, Vonage told ComputerWire.

The agreements reveal Vonage's mettle in becoming a primary phone service for its VoIP users, amid growing VoIP competition from networks, including Verizon, and other companies.

Under the deal, when a Vonage customer calls 911 within Verizon's territory, emergency services staff will receive the caller's physical location and callback number, similar to the way landline and mobile calls are handled.

Historically, this information for VoIP callers was not sent to 911 services. When Vonage customers opted in for its existing 911 service, their calls were not always routed to appropriate emergency personnel.

The deal means Vonage can offer customers a more comparable service to traditional phone services than before. It also will help mitigate bad press surrounding two lawsuits slapped on Vonage in recent weeks by two US state attorney generals that accuse it of "misleading customers" about the limits of its existing 911 service. The suits were spurred by troubling reports of some Vonage user's 911 calls being sent to call centers or voicemail.

 Posted by Vonage on Friday, May 06 @ 01:29:49 UTC
 (1479 reads)
Read More: Vonage Calls To Verizon's 911 Will Cost $10 Million

 Vonage VoIP Phones Arrive At Home

Vonage In Print News

Internet Phones Arrive At Home (And Some Need No Computer)

May 5, 2005

By Daniel Terdiman



A few years ago, a buzz began spreading about Internet telephony, a technology allowing telephone conversations to be made across the Internet rather than exclusively over regular phone lines.

Such calls, made at little or no expense to the caller, were portrayed as a threat to the established phone companies. But the vision exceeded the actual experience, which early users likened to listening through mud.

More recently, Internet phone technology - also known as voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP - made inroads into businesses using heavy-duty equipment from companies like Cisco.

Now, thanks to providers like Vonage and others, it has found its way into the home. The service is sometimes choppy, but costs are low and quality is satisfactory for routine calls. Moreover, Internet protocol lends itself to inexpensive videoconferencing as well, useful for informal video chats between friends or business associates.

For those with high-speed connections, Internet calling and videoconferencing are finally taking off. And as their use grows, so does the selection of tools. The latest Apple operating system, released last week, incorporates improved tools for online video chatting. And this week a new offering from Motorola, the Ojo, offers Internet picture-phone ability without a computer.

 Posted by Vonage on Friday, May 06 @ 00:55:00 UTC
 (1414 reads)
Read More: Vonage VoIP Phones Arrive At Home

 Vonage Commits $10M In E911 Infrastructure

Vonage In Print News

Vonage’s $10-Million 911 Plan

May 4, 2005

By Katie Fehrenbacher

Vonage will spend $10 million to start providing 911-style services for its customers, partly by using Verizon’s infrastructure to connect callers with emergency dispatchers, the VoIP provider announced Wednesday.

The investment is Vonage’s first substantial attempt to close the company’s emergency calling gap. The cash is a relatively low price to address a shortcoming that has become a publicity nightmare for the company, which has spent tens of millions of dollars to market VoIP service.

Vonage calls the investment a major undertaking, describing the plan as “the first domino to fall” in a plan to offer emergency services nationwide. Vonage and Verizon will implement the system over the next six months.

For now, the Verizon contract includes emergency service access in Verizon’s footprint. A Vonage call will be routed over the Verizon network to connect to the Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP. The 911 operator is then able

The $10 million includes plans with three other regional bell operating companies, or RBOCs, but covers only the service and operational costs. Vonage has been criticized for not figuring out ways to work with the network owners to collaborate on emergency services.

Because Vonage, along with the majority of startup VoIP providers, doesn’t own the network over which it runs services, companies like Verizon want to charge when companies piggyback onto their networks.

But $10 million is a relatively easy figure for the company to swallow. Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron has said that the company spends between $150 to $200 in marketing costs per customer. With over 600,000 customers, that’s up to $120 million in branding to secure its subscribers.

Now that Verizon has decided on an appropriate price point to loan VoIP companies network use, the other carriers might follow suit. Vonage says the company is in talks with SBC over a similar plan.

 Posted by Vonage on Thursday, May 05 @ 00:45:00 UTC
 (1228 reads)
Read More: Vonage Commits $10M In E911 Infrastructure

 Vonage Strikes VoIP E911 Deal With Verizon

Vonage In Print News

Vonage, The No. 1 Internet-Based Phone Company Plans To Announce Today That It Has A Deal With Verizon To Provide Enhanced 911 Service To Vonage Customers Throughout Verizon's Territory

May 4, 2005

By Staff

Vonage, the No. 1 Internet-based phone company plans to announce today that it has a deal with Verizon to provide Enhanced 911 service to Vonage customers throughout Verizon's territory. Verizon becomes the first regional bell to let Vonage access its databases and call-routing systems to offer E-911, which provides emergency dispatchers with a callers number and location.

 Posted by Vonage on Thursday, May 05 @ 00:21:48 UTC
 (1049 reads)
Read More: Vonage Strikes VoIP E911 Deal With Verizon

 The Economics Of VoIP 911 Emergency Services

Vonage In Print News

The Economics Of Emergency Services

May 2, 2005

By Johna Till Johnson

My recent column on the necessity of universal 911 services definitely hit a hot button. Many thanks to those who wrote to share their views.

A few clarifications: First, I provided some inaccurate information regarding Vonage's 911 capabilities. Per Vonage's current Web site, users don't have to pay extra for 911: Even the $14.99 basic rate includes 911 capabilities, though in all cases users must activate their 911 features themselves (it's not built-in). My apologies for the error.

Second, it's clear from the responses that there's a lot of FUD around the issue of 911 and E911 services. Let's cut to the chase: The real issue, as I noted in the previous column, is that enabling VoIP with E911 capabilities costs money - and nobody's willing to belly up to the bar to pay. Or more precisely, nobody's yet taken a hard look at how funding models for public services should evolve in a world where voice (not just VoIP) is virtually free.

 Posted by Vonage on Wednesday, May 04 @ 00:00:00 UTC
 (1249 reads)
Read More: The Economics Of VoIP 911 Emergency Services

 Vonage Reshaping Telcom Billing Systems

Vonage In Print News

A Tale Of Two IPT Service Providers

April 29, 2005

By Barbara Lancaster

IP Telephony is rapidly reshaping telecommunications world wide. "Traditional" Billing systems, like "traditional" voice time division switches, are reaching their expiration, even for "traditional" Service Providers. For new IP-based Service Providers, "traditional" Billers just don't fit the business model. Vonage and Pipemedia are pioneers in the IP Telephony business; each achieving steady growth over a period of years. Vonage is primarily focused on the consumer and small business market, while Pipemedia also offers a hosted IP PBX offering for larger business customers, as well as re-selling DSL directly to its customers. By attending OSS exhibitions, talking with a variety of vendors, and in Vonage's case, bringing the "closest fit" vendor in for a pilot evaluation, both ended up defining, building, and operating their own customer care and Billing solutions.

Looking back

In a circuit switched network, it was reasonable to justify the price of 'long distance' on the basis that calls that travel a long way cost Service Providers more to carry than calls that go across the street. We were all conditioned to agree that calls placed during peak hours (i.e. normal business hours) were of more value and therefore priced higher than calls made on weekends, evenings or cheapest of all, in the middle of the night.

The disruptive force of IP

IP Telephony makes nonsense of the time-and-distance charging model - it is possible to transport the IP telephone service from New York to Sydney by simply plugging an IP Phone, or an Analog Terminal Adapter into a Broadband Access connection point in Australia to enjoy exactly the same service as if you were still in Manhattan.

The new low-cost network model has of course created the influx of new pure IP players into the Service Provider market. IP Telephony Service Providers (IPT SP) can buy wholesale capacity at a fraction of the build costs and enjoy the benefits of being buyers in a buyers market (although there are some signs that this imbalance is now beginning to even out). They can gain access to customers directly through tried and tested DSL technology, which has a low "barrier to entry" cost. But they still need systems to charge and bill their customer services. While each IPT SP we recently interviewed indicated that they first looked at the traditional "tools of the trade" used by traditional telcos, each quickly found that these tools were not what they had in mind.

As Louis Holder, EVP Development at Vonage observed: "There were some great packages that did some of everything, but because they were so broad, they became too complex and too expensive. They couldn't "dumb down" their systems to meet our needs and our price point."

 Posted by vonage on Monday, May 02 @ 12:42:41 UTC
 (1317 reads)
Read More: Vonage Reshaping Telcom Billing Systems

 Vonage Leading Residential VOIP Market Size At 600K

Vonage In Print News

Residential VOIP Market Size: Vonage - 600K, CableVision - 350K

April 28, 2005

By Alex Mosalyuk

Residential VOIP market size: Vonage - 600K, CableVision - 350K by ZDNet's IT Facts -- The New York Times published new numbers on current residential VOIP market. Vonage has 600,000 subscribers and CableVision is at 350,000. AT&T VOIP service lured 53,000 users.

 Posted by Vonage on Thursday, April 28 @ 22:56:36 UTC
 (2030 reads)
Read More: Vonage Leading Residential VOIP Market Size At 600K

 Mexico Phone Operator Telmex Blocking VoIP Traffic And Websites

Vonage In Print News

Mexico Telephone Operator Under VoIP Fire

April 25, 2005

By Ben Charny

Broadband customers of Mexico's dominant telephone operator say the quality of their voice over Internet Protocol calls has tanked, with some alleging that Telmex is engaging in unfair business practices to block VoIP competition.

VoIP, freely available software that lets broadband connections become inexpensive home phone lines, is seen as a major threat to entrenched phone operators such as Telmex because VoIP users no longer need a local phone service; they can use their VoIP service with any broadband connection anywhere in the world.

International operators and habitues of the less urbane world of Web forums are venting about the government-owned operator's alleged practices, which they say include blocking Web sites that VoIP operators use to register new customers and perform a bulk of their customer service.
"We're definitely interested in this situation," said a White House trade official, who asked not to be named. "Telmex has had a long pattern of engaging in anti-competitive behavior."

In a March report, the White House's Office of the U.S. Trade Representative wrote: "Uncertainty regarding the treatment of voice over Internet Protocol services in Mexico is cause for concern. Irrespective of the merits of Telmex's ambitions, restrictions on the ability of any entity, foreign or domestic, to supply VoIP appears inappropriate."

Telmex did not respond to a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the situation.

Caller complaints escalate

The Telmex VoIP situation has grown since mid-March, when the company's broadband customers say the quality of their third-party voice over Internet Protocol calls began eroding to what are now unbearable levels, according to e-mail interviews with VoIP customers who routinely call in and out of Mexico.

 Posted by Vonage on Wednesday, April 27 @ 00:15:00 UTC
 (11170 reads)
Read More: Mexico Phone Operator Telmex Blocking VoIP Traffic And Websites

 Vonage And SBC Working Out Details For VoIP 911 Help

Vonage In Print News

Vonage, SBC In Talks Over 911 Help

April 25, 2005

By Ben Charny

SBC Communications said steps are being taken to open its 911 emergency services to competitor Vonage, a potentially important breakthrough for Internet phone providers.

SBC on Monday said it recently offered to negotiate a commercial agreement to give Vonage a direct connection to its 911 infrastructure. The U.S. phone giant also agreed to assess the technology blueprints for doing so, according to an SBC representative. The representative did not disclose additional details about the deal.

The two sides have been at odds over the issue. SBC initially planned to trial the Vonage 911 system nine months ago, but backed out without explanation. Then, last month, it deflected Vonage's formal request to lease access to the required gear. However, on April 18, SBC Executive Vice President Christopher T. Rice discussed plans to begin negotiations in a letter to Vonage Chief Executive Jeffrey Citron.

The progress is a positive sign that the two companies are close to finally addressing the hot-button issue of giving voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operators access to the street address databases and telephone network serving all 3,200 emergency dispatch centers in the United States. The vital infrastructure is owned and operated to a large degree by the nation's top four local phone operators: SBC, Verizon Communications, BellSouth and Qwest Communications International, collectively known as the Bells.

 Posted by Vonage on Tuesday, April 26 @ 23:50:00 UTC
 (1118 reads)
Read More: Vonage And SBC Working Out Details For VoIP 911 Help

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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