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Vonage Adding WiFi and Video

Techstination feature for Thursday, January 6, 2005

It's one of the hot topics at this week's Consumer Electronics Show… Making phone calls over the Internet. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. There are more and more companies….big and small…jumping onto the voice over IP bandwagon. One of the early pioneers…Vonage…has passed the four hundred thousand subscriber mark. For 25 dollars a month…it offers homes with high speed Internet connections…unlimited nationwide calling. Now Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron says…his partnership with Texas Instruments is leading to new products…

"We have devices coming out by Vtech, that will have the Vonage adaptor and software built into the base station. We've got a great partnership with UTStarcom. They are going to be making a cordless WiFi phone for us that people can use with access points in their home or when they travel on the road."

And, Citron says, Vonage will also be coming out with an affordable video phone. While rivals such as Packet8 are already offering IP video phones…

"Historically, it's been very, very expensive. The quality hasn't been good. And it's used up a lot of bandwidth. And we think with the new partnership with Visteon, we have the capability of going ahead and releasing a low cost, high quality, low band width requirement, video phone."

Vonage faces some tough competition…from Verizon, AT&T and soon Comcast…but Citron says Vonage is positioned to take the largest share as the number of voice over IP users triples over the coming year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.