For a year now, I have been making the points in this space that:
SprintNextel really needs a self-operated VoIP component to round out its service bundle, and;
As a company without a true multi-service bundle, Vonage will find it increasingly difficult to compete against bundled cable and telecom packages, as well as multiple service offerings from Yahoo!, Skype and other providers with IM roots.
I still believe these two truisms advise an acquisition of Vonage by SprintNextel. Yet at least as far as I can tell, SprintNextel doesn't seem to think that way.
Instead, SprintNextel seems to be going full-speed ahead with offering VoIP services largely through reciprocal wireless services from a growing legion of partner broadband cable access companies who are also VoIP providers. I am talking about Comcast, for which SprintNextel will add a wireless service to their bundle, as well as partnerships with lesser-known entities such as WEHCO Video, NPG Cable and Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations.
At this week's National Cable Television Assn. convention in Atlanta, SprintNextel CEO Gary Forsee (I'll avoid the "foresee" puns here, because you deserve better) said that by next year, SprintNextel is shooting for national availability of VoIP services through the fixed mobile convergence parterships it has announced and more that it is pursuing.
But I think SprintNextel is going about this all wrong- piecemeal and I daresay, half-baked. Why not buy a readily available VoIP brand, such as Vonage, take advantage of its robust market and marketing cache, and then sell their VoIP service as your own?