Last month, some folks believed Vonage’s “sounds good” campaign indicated the company was going to roll out a wideband service. I went to the horse’s (or is it bird’s?) mouth: Vonage_Voice on Twitter and received confirmation that HD is not in the company’s near future plans.
Michael Zema, one of Vonage’s PR guys, outlined the same game plan that came out of the company’s conference call last month: A smartphone app to enable the use of Vonage service to dial international numbers at low rates using either cellular or Wi-Fi networks, enhancing the core service with features currently offered at a premium for now additional cost, and better integration of voice and messaging services across all devices.
Virtual numbers — an old trick in the VoIP world, a newer one for Vonage and Verizon Business — also got underlined. Vonage currently offers virtual numbers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Ireland and Spain ranging from $4.99-$9.99 per month for both small business and residential customers. Reading between the lines, Vonage will likely add on more countries to the virtual numbers list by the end of the year.
Michael also said Vonage was not working with Digium’s Switchvox IP PBX solution at this time. If Vonage does offer SIP trunking for the SMB community, it might be nice to have a piece of CPE to offer customers on-premise functionality that doesn’t require a fully hosted solution. (Yes, I know this upsets the “Host it all, and rake in the bucks!” of the Hosted VoIP community, but there will be businesses/vertical markets that require customized solutions going beyond vanilla hosted VoIP).
Digium’s Switchvox is one of two or three solutions in the marketplace that provides an open API for customization and sufficient features for the typical SMB. As Digium’s VAR relationships start picking up steam, I think you should see more Switchvox/SIP trunking bundles; MegaPath and Digium made such an announcement at the end of May.