The PhoneBoy Blog


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So Is Vonage Innovating Or Not?

Rich Tehrani thinks Vonage is innovating by offering free weather and traffic reports, whereas Andy Abramson thinks otherwise. I'm with Andy on this one.

Vonage and services like it stopped being interesting to me a long time ago. They do not offer me any real value beyond cheap phone calls tied to an analog handset. Beyond changing the hardware at the customer end and offering a separate account for softphone usage, their service is basically the same as it was three years ago. Countless other services have come out since then that have better prices at the least, not to mention extra functionality.

I guess 2 million users certainly can be wrong. Maybe I'm wrong and something like Vonage or whatever the cable company offers what the vast majority people already know and love–their dumb, simple, telephone.

Meanwhile, back to the question: adding time, temperature, and traffic numbers to Vonage doesn't make them innovative. It makes them more like the local phone company. I can get all those on my local PSTN lines from Qwest. Where is the innovation, exactly?


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