The Promise of Voice 2.0-Will Vonage Survive?

(Archived in: Online Usability Related Miscellany Social Design)

Will VOiP survive? Of course. Will Vonage survive? Probably not. Anyone that has ever been involved in a lawsuit knows that the party with the most money usually wins, and Vonage just lost a big one to Verizon. Check out yesterday's news and return to this page.

Vonage has been plagued with lawsuits (everything from patent infringement to investor relation problems with their IPO). If Vonage is not getting sued, it seems they are suing someone else. Vonage sued AT&T over the name CallVantage in 2004. Pretty sure AT&T won that one since they are still using the name.

Voice 2.0, or anything "2.0" is a great concept. The reason these concepts have not already emerged and thrived, is the same reason we do not have hydrogen powered vehicles and flying cars. Certainly the technology already exists, and has for some time. There is no doubt that telephony, computer, and television technologies continues to converge.

The problem is that it has the potential to displace "cash cow" legacy technology. If the big guys can't figure out a way to make money from it, or absorb the technology, it's not going to happen very quickly. It's not about better services and products, it's about greed.

Vonage is touted as the largest independent VOiP provider and has only mustered 2.2 million subscribers. Last year it lost 286 million dollars, just lost a 58 million dollar lawsuit to Verizon, and does not know how it will work around the patent infringement issues.

VOiP will certainly survive as it is embraced and marketed by the larger players. Unfortunately, it does not look good for a Vonage survival.

I do think at some point, maybe "web 3.0" or beyond, most nascent technology, including more online apps will become almost free and/or open source and intuitive. I also think wireless will be so pervasive (like radio) that connectivity will not be an issue. This too will be almost free, and bandwidth will be subsidized by advertising (like TV and radio).

Digital Nomads will also eventually opt for more online storage, but it will be encrypted for a price, and there will be subscription based services for business and enterprise solutions.

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