February 24, 2005
Aggressive player aspires to dominate VoIP mindshare with vanity toll-free numbers and matching domain names.
VoIP, Inc (OTCBB:VOII) announced today that it has acquired the three vanity telephone numbers, 1-800-TALKTIME, 1-888-TALKTIME and 1-877-TALKTIME, along with the domain names 800TALKTIME.COM, 1800TALKTIME.COM and 1-800-TALKTIME.COM, and a US trademark for 1-800-TALKTIME.
The company views the acquisition and promotion of these brands as giving it a substantial marketing edge with consumers in the retail VoIP, subscriber-based telephony market throughout the US and Canada, and eventually beyond, which are its targets.
It believes 1-800-TALKTIME can become synonymous with VOIP services, against competition from the likes of Vonage, AT&T’s CallVantage, Deltathree’s iConnectHere,Packet8, and Primus Telecom.
Received marketing wisdom is that memorable phone numbers can generate up to twice the TV and ten times the radio direct response sales compared to generic phone numbers. The industry will watch to see how that plays out here.
November 9, 2004
The FCC decided today that “Vonage” and “Vonage-like” services are by nature “interstate services” and so subject to regulation by the FCC and not by any of the individual states.
The Federal Communications Commission ruled today that the type of Internet telephony service offered by Vonage Holdings Corp called DigitalVoice is not subject to traditional state public utility regulation. It also stated that other types of IP-enabled voice services, such as those offered by cable companies, that have basic characteristics similar to DigitalVoice would also not be subject to traditional state public utility regulation.
The Commission characterized “Vonage-like” services as (1) accessible only through a broadband connection; (2) nomadic and non-geographic in nature; (3) requiring the purchase of special equipment; and (4) performing a net protocol conversion for customers to communicate with the PSTN. This definition certainly seems to cover cable voice, and probably can be extended to virtually all VoIP service.
The commission did not address the applicability to Vonage of general laws in Minnesota governing taxation, fraud, commercial dealings, marketing, advertising and other business practices. Nor did the FCC decide whether Internet telephony is an unregulated information service or a telecommunications service. This decision will come later, as will almost certainly a tide of litigation from the states.
The FCC has already exempted Jeff Pulver’s Free World Dialup (FWD) from state regulations, because the free calls customers make are routed entirely over the Internet and never interconnect with the PSTN. With a broadband connection, FWD members talk with each other computer-to-computer.
In August, the FCC ruled that Internet telephony should be subject to traditional wiretap laws. The preliminary decision will force VoIP providers to comply with the same law enforcement rules as telephone carriers.
The FCC is also considering VoIP carrier obligations regarding emergency 911 calling services and any contributions the VoIP industry should make to the Universal Service Fund.
March 29, 2004
Vonage’s cutting-edge Voice-over-IP service now available with X-PRO, the leading SIP Softphone from Xten.
EDISON, N.J. and SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 23 – Vonage, the fastest growing telephony company in the US, and Xten Networks, publisher of the award winning X-PRO SoftPhone, announced today that Vonage and Xten have completed interoperability testing of an OEM version of Xten’s X-PRO SIP SoftPhone for use on Vonage’s Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service.