Ma Bell’s aggressive pricing strategy is going to kill a lot of start-ups, reports EWeek. No Shit! The AT&T brand gives a great boost to VOIP’s credibility among consumers, said Jon Arnold, a VOIP market analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “The more people who have a choice of [using] AT&T [VOIP], the faster this market can grow,” he said and added, “”The hard and expensive part is customer acquisition. Does it pay for me to spend $200 to acquire a customer who’s only going to give me $100 of revenue per year? That’s not a good business model.” Meanwhile, AT&T today introduced its CallVantage service in 100 markets nationwide with the addition of 28 new markets and seven additional states, offering those households a high-tech alternative for their personal communications needs.
Bloomberg News reports that the “Treasury Department said it doesn’t plan to tax telephone calls made over the Internet after a lawmaker asked for a clarification of a notice the government issued last week.” Treasury got about $5.73 billion in 3 percent excise tax on telecom services. The story quotes VoIP booster Jeff Pulver as saying, “the Treasury Department and the IRS ‘were testing the waters to see what it’s like and found it too hot.'”
Associated Press dredges up same old issues when it says, “One of its (VoIP) big advantages is lack of regulation — and taxes — that are keeping prices competitive with other phone services, but that may not last forever.” The report followed the VoIP Senate hearing last week. “We will never know VoIP’s tremendous potential if we saddle it with unwarranted government regulation,” said subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich, the AP reports. “Democrats, however, said some regulation would be necessary.”
Lucent will be the key supplier to the HOT Telecom’s proposed VoIP buildout in Israel. The deal is worth $35 million. HOT Telecom is an Israeli-based cable telephony consortium formed by Golden Channels, Tevel and Matav-Cable Systems Media.