In light of Patent woes, Vonage could be acquired by Sprint after all

In light of Patent woes, Vonage could be acquired by Sprint after all

Summary: Opinions are starting to gather about what yesterday's court decision holding Vonage as infringer in six SprintNextel patents means.Noting Vonage stock's all-time low closing price of $1.

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Opinions are starting to gather about what yesterday's court decision holding Vonage as infringer in six SprintNextel patents means.

Noting Vonage stock's all-time low closing price of $1.30 a share yesterday, Om thinks it is only a matter of time before Vonage disappears, going the way of SunRocket. Mike at Techdirt thinks Vonage "may not be able to survive." Mike says it is a shame because while Vonage holds no Patents, it's figured out a way to market VoIP to the masses that many VoIP Patent-holders have not. But at least to me, Richard Doherty, research director with consultancy-marketing research firm  the Envisioneering Group, has the most relevant opinion.

Richard, is a keen analyst I know from my days writing about the business side of television and cable company technical issues.

Even 15 years ago I remember respecting Richard's opinions and prognostications as being equally informed by an intuitive, barrier-free  comprehension of technology, business-to-business dealings, and consumer behavior. Kind of like one of those folks who is both left-brained and right-brained.

So when I woke up this morning and read Richard's words in the Washington Post I sensed an insight into an eventual outcome I first raised nearly two years ago on these  very pages.

Post staff writer Kim Hart quotes Richard as saying:

"Sprint doesn't want those royalties as much as it wants access to those customers," Doherty said, adding that the decision gives Sprint more leverage in either reaching a settlement with Vonage, or acquiring the company, as was rumored earlier this year.

Let me add, Richard knows Patents. He holds 12 of his own.

If Sprint realizes that the bundle they have with Comcast makes them only a subsidiary player in VoIP, and that the Clearwire national WiMAX fruition is many years away, then they will admit how useful it might be to acquire a company with 2.3 million subscribers.

If Vonage gets offered a deal by Sprint and turns it down, they might well wind up as DOA as Om and Mike predict.

Topics: Unified Comms, Browser, E-Commerce, Networking, Telcos

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4 comments
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  • PLEASE NO!!! NOT SPRINT!

    Oh my gosh, if Sprint took over Vonage, I'd cancel my Vonage service! Sprint cannot even run their own network properly. They have proven that when they took over NexTel. I can't tell you how much hours I've spent on the phone with Sprint Customer Service Reps and Tech Support to get nowhere.
    I LOVE my Vonage.
    I HATE my Sprint Cell Phone Service (3 phones with them)
    Anybody but Sprint.... PLEASE!!!!!
    Sean
    SeanGum.com
    seangum
    • RE: TalkBack 1

      I must agree. I cancelled my Sprint Wireless service 2 years ago because of the terrible customer service and technical support. Sprint is nothing more than a big name that everyone knows because they have been around a while, and recently, purchased Nextel, which agreeably was a mistake on Sprint's part. I personally am a technical support agent for Vonage. I don't have Vonage, but from what I hear, either the subscribers really love Vonage or they hate it.

      Karen
      Concord, NC
      Karen.Drum2007@...
  • Sprint and Vonage

    I have had no trouble with either my Sprint wireless or my Vonage VoIP. I have had both for several years. My coverage is pretty much everywhere with Sprint and Vonage has never given me a problem that I couldn't solve myself.
    tropigal1
  • RE: In light of Patent woes, Vonage could be acquired by Sprint after all

    The only winners here are the lawyers and the large telco???s. Pity since VoIP delivers real value to many consumers. And there are great providers out there like Net2Phone. But this debacle will taint VoIP for many people.

    I like Net2Phone because they seem to have focused primarily on developing technology with a great set of features - rather than throw money at campaigns. After more than 10 years, they are not the Johnny come lately so at least I feel safe with them. But I have no doubt this whole segment will lose credibility.
    rachelgrosz