And yet another article covering the VOIP market… The NYT takes on AT&T CallVantage. The more I’ve thought about it since my last post on the topic, the more it seems like AT&T is really pushing this harder than Vonage. I realize Vonage has yet to really launch a consumer campaign, but do they ever have their work cut out for them.
AT&T spent $25 Million just during the Olympics… I received another DM piece today as well — I believe that makes 4 so far this summer. A little birdy told me that later in the year AT&T is set to shake it up a bit with some enhanced product offerings for CallVantage…Game on!
CallVantage, which connects calls over broadband lines and also avoids some taxes imposed on phone companies, is 20 to 30 percent cheaper than ordinary phone service.
AT&T hopes the lower price will help it draw customers who would have abandoned the company for the Baby Bells, which now offer a full range of telephone services. In the coming months, AT&T also plans to introduce a wireless plan that, in theory, could be packaged with its Internet phone service at a discount.
But it is far from certain whether AT&T has the muscle to win control of the emerging Internet phone market from start-ups like Vonage, which already has 250,000 subscribers, or its more powerful rivals among the regional Bell companies.
Nor is it clear that its favored mass-market approach – which typically involves spending tens of millions of dollars on advertising and promotions – is the best way to invigorate its consumer business. [New York Times]