Vonage Will Release Apps For Smartphones

18 Comments

[qi:gigaom_icon_voip] Vonage (s vg), a VoIP services provider, is making its first move to mobile by developing smartphone applications, the New Jersey-based company has confirmed to us. The news was first reported by Gadgetell. Unfortunately, Vonage wouldn’t provide many details on the applications other than to say it’s in talks with “top” smartphone makers, and that the applications will be available in the second half of 2009 and will offer competitive international calling rates. Vonage’s shift to mobile follows in the footsteps of Skype (s ebay) and smaller competitors such as Fring, Nimbuzz and Truphone, all of which have released applications for the iPhone (see past coverage here.) We won’t be surprised if they released an iPhone app, they are certainly late to the party.

Nevertheless, this is still a wise strategy for Vonage to expand its customer base, as the company will now be able to lure people who don’t want to give up their landline phones but want the ability to make international calls using VoIP on their mobile phones.

A Vonage spokesman also said the company is working on “integrating communication products so that consumers can easily link home phones, cell phones and computers.” All of which is a significant shift from Vonage’s traditional business model, which until now has been based on replacing landline phones by selling special devices that use broadband networks to carry voice calls.

18 Comments

Kiki

How do we complain to Apple about this. I want a Vonage and a GV app!!!!!!!!

Alan D. Cardell

The mobil phone is a great start but when do we get desk top video phone that would be the ticke !!!
Alan The anticableman

Alec

Perhaps slightly off topic here, as I have a request to GigaOm. As we trust your opinion, it would be super helpful if you consider also writing an article that compares standard VOIP services. In the past couple of years, there have been a number of VOIP services sprouting out (and some dying, too). There seems to be a dearth in trustworthy reviews of VOIP services, as many of the review boards out there are biased. While Vonage is still the big name out there, many, including, myself, hesitate to sign up since the company (VNG) is basically a penny stock and could go under. I jumped ship from Vonage when they were near bankruptcy a couple of years ago, and signed up for ATT CallVantage, a fantastic service, only to find out this year that they are closing that unit down by the end of 2009. The question is if VOIP (for small businesses and consumers) is here to stay, and which companies are the best bet to entrust your business phone and fax number to. Thanks for your consideration in writing an article on this topic.

Tom Mitchell

I love my Vonage service, and it’s the best phone service for my home and business I’ve ever had. Highly recommended so long as you have good internet service. That said, my one of my only problems with Vonage is that for VoIP applications with your personal computer using your account, they typically charge an additional service fee. For example, using a USB softphone dongle or for their softphone software. So I suppose they might charge an additional fee for using a smartphone app too.

Stupid, but I can understand their need to find additional income anywhere they can in the current climate.

JohnB

Yup, I finally left Vonage after 6 years. Their zero interoperability with other SIP providers was one thing, but charging extra for using a softphone with your account is just ludicrous.

Doug Mohney

This is old news. Vonage has been jawboning about rolling out a mobile app for its service for the PAST TWO EARNINGS CALLS.

You discover it, and it’s “new news” suddenly.

*sigh*

Nearly as bad as “Google Voice will stomp Vonage” comment above….

Tell me when Vonage rolls out SIP trunking or HD Voice and THAT would be news..

james muprhy

actually vonage has been working on “mobile” since 2007 but they still don’t understand what mobile means. sticking an app on a smartphone? not how much value i see there. doug is right when he talks about vonage offering something really significant. Remember vonage hasn’t introduced any new products (not just another ATA!) in more than 3 years!

vonage should have been doing what truphone has done rather than playing around with wifi phones as they did 3 yrs ago.

maybe vonage will buy truphone?THAT would be News –it would give truphone access to a ready cuctomer base (2.6 m vonage customers), make them a platform company rather than a consumer business; and give vonage some real added value!

James

There seems to be a lot of focus on the IPhone apps but the rest of the phone world gets forgotten. Both Apple and the networks that they run on are focused on limiting “dial around” or “VoIP” solutions as well as anything else that eats into their voice revenues or that is perceived to use more bandwidth than surfing web pages. At this point in time, local access through the PSTN (using your bundled minutes) is the broad market solution. Our app, talki, does exactly this because even though the underlying SIP network is inherently compatible with a VoIP client (think IPhone, Nokia E Series etc.) it’s not an always on solution that works independently wherever you are. Consumers don’t care about the technology under the hood they just want a cheap, reliable, high quality voice connection.

Alex

“integrating communication products so that consumers can easily link home phones, cell phones and computers.”

Sounds like a virtual PBX. Not good news for RingCentral and other smaller players. They are starting to get squeezed out. Only thing missing is e-fax (same thing for Google voice)

Stephen

The way Apple lays down and allows AT&T to walk all over them, I doubt you will ever see a Vonage app on the iPhone! Google Voice apps being removed points the way to the mindset of control.

DEC

Google Voice will stomp Vonage once it comes out of stealth…

Kevin

GV will have to allow calling from your computer before it stomps Vonage. Using my Vonage number from home, the office, and hotels is the biggest usage model for me. Only my boss calls me in my office and even then I’m not always in my office.

Raul Moreno

I thought Vonage was bankrupt, but it’s nice to hear they’re not. Just wondering if Vonage is going to have the same problem as the Skype APP, that doesn’t let you make calls—-thank you AT&T! I agree with Peter…I don’t apple will approve more apps using VOIP.—again thanks AT&T.

John

Solution to all mobile problem. Loose AT&T and replace the iphone which is designed with prehistoric PDA technology with a windows mobile phone where you can get over thousands of open source apps. simply download them on the computer and copy them to an SD card that can be moved between the computer and windows mobile phone. It’s a great feature to be able to easily take the memory and battery out of the phone, none of this internal proprietary stuff.

Peter Sisson

With Apple’s latest rejection of Google Voice’s app, and their 6 weeks and counting non-approval of Toktumi’s new Line2 app for adding a second line to your iPhone, I don’t think you’ll be seeing a Vonage iPhone app any time soon.

Rick Gross

Seems to be a sensible move by Vonage to offers its customer a mobile extension for the current fixed line VoIP extension service. I have been testing all providers above, but I would like to see a solid review of all providers on all platforms, Blackberry, Nokia, Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and Windows Mobile for Skype, Nimbuzz, Fring and truphone. My personal testing has shown that truphone offers the best of service and application. While Skype is still missing important components and often lets you down for crucial important business calls in terms of quality. Nimbuzz is great for IM but not as elegant for voice and fring has let me down on quality of service and tries to do to much in one app. truphone seems to be an all in offering with IM and voice. It shines on voice quality and offers the a solid install base on smartphones. A test should also include a solid comparison on pricing plans between the service providers, skype, Vonage, truphone, nimbuzz and fring. Clearly this is an emerging market world wide and will become more important in 2009 and 2010 as more phone will be able to use mobile VoIP technologies.

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