A report from the Yankee Group now shows that Vonage has recently lost its ranking as the Internet phone service with the most subscribers.
Noted on PC Magazine's website this morning, the Yankee Group now says Comcast Digital Voice (basic connection diagram at the top of this post) reported 2.4 million subscribers during the first quarter of 2007, an 813 percent increase. Those numbers bested previous champ Vonage, which struggled last year after a weak IPO and patent battles with Verizon, the report said.
Vonage claims some 2.3 million lines. Last year, it added 1.2 million lines in 2006, a 75 percent subscriber increase. For the first quarter of 2007, Vonage added 166,000 lines.
Keep in mind this is not apples-to-apples. Vonage calls travel over the Internet, while Comcast Digital Voice uses its own lines. Yet since some customers do not realize this, Comcast passing Vonage is highly emblematic of the subscriber acquisition process is becoming more successful for providers that offer a suite of services.
Providers such as Comcast.
The Yankee Group report also said implied that the $300 or so spent to attract new Vonage subs likely was reflective of the subscriber-acqusition costs of all stand-alone VoIP services.
PC Mag's Chloe Albanesius adds that the Yankee Group report suggested that "the hefty cost of acquiring new customers likely contributed to the downfall of another broadband VoIP provider, SunRocket."
Perhaps we haven't seen the last example of such downfalls.