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Summary:

Paul Erickson and Joyce Dorris, former MCI Consumer executives, who “pioneered many of MCI’s breakthrough innovations, including 1-800-COLLECT and The Neighborhood Built by MCI” have just launched a new company, SunRocket. The Vienna, VAcompany was started in early 2004 and Nokia Venture Partners led the company’s first […]

Paul Erickson and Joyce Dorris, former MCI Consumer executives, who “pioneered many of MCI’s breakthrough innovations, including 1-800-COLLECT and The Neighborhood Built by MCI” have just launched a new company, SunRocket. The Vienna, VAcompany was started in early 2004 and Nokia Venture Partners led the company’s first round of financing. Nokia is putting money in a VoIP service company – wouldn’t that piss off cell phone operators? No details have been offered so far. The founders are hoping to bring VoIP to consumers in a new-improved fashion. No Gotcha Marketing! Oh really! (Now not to be dismissive of it all, I hope to chat with these guys soon, and perhaps learn something which would change my mind. )

Absolutely no one is selling a residential package “an all-inclusive price of $24.95 per month.” This wonderful package is now available in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Boston, SunRocket will be available in cities across America by the end of the year. Paul Erickson, chief executive officer of SunRocket says, “We recognize the mounting frustration that consumers have with escalating fees, add-on surcharges and taxes that turn an advertised $49.99 price into a $65 monthly phone bill.  With SunRocket’s Bottom-Line Pricing, members get everything they need for one low monthly price which includes taxes.” And just when you are ready to sign-up, they will give you two numbers for the price of one. And infact, they will give 100 free minutes to any of 13 countries or 30 minutes or more to any of 75 countries.

The upside of ex-MCI folks launching this service is that AT&T, Vonage, and others like Lingo are going to spend more on advertising, and cut prices further. No one will make money, but some of us will pay a lot less for the VoIP service. As his royal purpleness sings its … 1999.

  1. But once we discover the ever elusive purple minutes, we will see it to be the glow of a glorious sun rise. (Oh. Ignore me. Just killing time waiting for a train to go to a next city.)

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  2. Charlie Sierra Monday, November 1, 2004

    The only VoIP carriers I waiting to see are Nextel and T-Mobile. RBOCs and Sprint PCS will pass on VoIP because they don’t want to piss off their own local division.

    Nextel and T-Mobile could seed the market quickly by offering free calls to all current Nextel or T-Mobile cellphone subs.

    A very easy way to ramp (low CPGA) subs is to target college kids (who have free wired broadband) and a cellphone paid for by Dad.

    Overage charges make Dad mad, so induce your subs to move some traffic to the internet. Then get the viral kicker by Dorm room WOM and signing up Mom and Dad also.

    A $10 ARPU addon for cellphone subs from just a piece of software sure beats the pants off a massive CAPEX investment, but thats just me.

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  3. john mcclenny Monday, November 1, 2004

    RBOCs are going to jump all over VOIP to force the regulators to fix the stupid internet/VOIP regulatory arbitrage play.

    If the tax dollars from PSTN dry up, you can be sure that taxes on internet/VOIP will soon appear. The RBOCs need to avoid their customers getting taxed to even the playing field. Do you really think that the FTTP plays by the RBOCs will not be VOIP?

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  4. Om,

    Is Nokia making a VoIP/GSM and possibly WiFi phone soon? Why else would they invest in a landline replacement play?

    I’ve seen them invest in other non cellular companies and never figured out how they choose to invest.

    Andy

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  5. HEY, MY “””SUN”” ROCKET is Level3 so what can I say, ANOTHER VOIP wannabee with good ole Multiple Criminals Indicted leading the way………..

    I DO like the marketing of the ””FREE ”” Virtual Number and the FREE 100 minutes to a foreign country though…………

    Just Crank up PRINCE and figure it out in 5 years and MAYBE Skibare WILL Be partying like its 1999 all over again riding the Level3 SUN ROCKET!

    Skibare

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  6. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, November 2, 2004

    Charlie Sierra — Exactly!

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  7. Sun Rocket, another VOIP provider

    Sun Rocket, another VOIP provider

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  8. Sun Rocket, another VOIP provider

    Sun Rocket, another VOIP provider

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  9. Sunrocket.com….They started OK, their technical support and customer service are the worst. No compariosn to Vonage, ATT and Cox. Pay a little for a better product. Definitely not SUnrocket.

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  10. Loving SunRocket now!!!
    Tech support? Haven’t needed it so far, their stuff was simple to set up.
    Customer service? Excellent.

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