Boingo’s Pipe VoIP Dream


Just got off the phone with Boingo Wireless’ President and COO Dave Hagan. The idea was to get a clear sense of what was the real deal with Boingo-Vonage relationship. I guess, despite the press releases and all that, it was much ado about nothing. Hagan described it as a marketing partnership. No money changes hand, no revenue share, nothing… nada! “We will co-market their softphone product, along with a Boingo software and you can use VoIP at Boingo hotspots,” he said. In fact the two companies are not going to spend much dollars – they are hoping users will cross promote usage. Of course you can use it on any other hotspot network, but Hagan said it is more than just laptops and PDAs. Cell phones will WiFi will be big, and since they have a global footprint, it will be good for Vonage users. And by the way this is not an exclusive relationship. I wonder, why won’t Boingo rollout its own VoIP service, using someone as a private label supplier. No plans for now, Hagan said. “We are dipping our toes in VoIP waters right now,” he added. In summation, despite all the noise, it looked like a press release effort for two companies to get more buzz! Did the common VC backer, NEA push them to make a lot of noise around it?

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