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[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.