Vonage Announces Non-Mobile UK Mobile Plan

VoIP provider Vonage has announced a deal in the UK where its subscribers can buy a $145 WiFi phone, then make calls from The Cloud's 7,000 hotspots there for no additional charges. The plan is similar to earlier efforts from other VoIP companies, and is again being pitched as competition for mobile phone operators, conveniently ignoring the reality that despite their marketing hype, these aren't mobile services -- they're nomadic at best, and ubiquitious mobile coverage remains a premium service for which operators will be able to charge a premium price for quite some time. Services like these will influence pricing, though, as these sort of nomadic calls from certain locations, whether it's home, the office or hotspots become a cheap commodity through the use of fixed-mobile convergence products. But the ubiquity mobile operators offer, particularly when it's bundled with cheap calls from users' most frequent locations, will remain a much more successful offering. WiFi proponents will pipe back that citywide WiFi networks could change this, but it's hard to take that threat seriously yet, given that wide-scale WiFi remains something of an unproven offering, particularly when it's being mentioned as a replacement for cellular networks. Derek adds: And don't forget, I've been using the Vonage VoWiFi F1000 phone since December, and wrote about the bad user experience. Since then, I've had continuing and additional problems with the WiFi phone - particularly when I try to use it in a nomadic capacity.
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  • identicon
    Russell Buckley, 27 Apr 2006 @ 10:42am

    Rabbit

    This idea also fails to take into account history. Hutchison launched Rabbit phones in the UK in 1989 which allowed callers to make callson special handsets if they were within 100 metres of a Rabbit phone point. It failed, primarily as the reason to have a phone is to make AND receive calls. So you'd have to carry these receivers in addition to your mobile handset and frankly, who is going to bother? Russell www.mobhappy.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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