It disappoints, but does not amaze me, how journalists on deadline sometimes cite rough patches being experienced by Vonage or Skype and then make a giant leap to conclude that VoIP is hosed.
Take for instance the almost-always-clued-in Dan Tynan of PC World.
The necessities of the calendar bring out his newly posted piece entitled The 15 Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2007. And wouldn't you know it, "Cannot Be Completed As Dialed: Voice Over IP" ranks Number 7.
Dan writes in part:
Here's a recipe for disaster: Have the market leader in your industry sued by three of the biggest telecom companies on the planet. Have second-tier players go belly up overnight, leaving thousands of business customers without any phone service. Add in a healthy dose of security vulnerabilities, and bake at 450 degrees until crispy.
Any way you slice it, 2007 was a crappy year for VoIP. Vonage spent most of the year fighting off patent infringement suits from Verizon, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T. (It has tentatively settled with all three, but not before agreeing to fork out payments of $39 million to $120 million apiece.) SunRocket simply disappeared last summer, leaving thousands of customers in the lurch.
The Vonage lawsuits were not unexpected, and SunRocket's belly-up was not a sign of an industry going bad, but a section of an industry being defeated by widely expected new business models such as Internet phone being sold in triple or quadruple bundles or virtually given away for pennies a minute by familiar IM-rooted brands.
And the "cannot be completed as dialed?" With a couple of outages excepted, where was the clamor over massive system failures in VoIP calling?
To make matters worse, Dan's piece would have you believe that as Vonage goes, so goes VoIP. What about the continued maturation of VoIP as a widely accepted solution in the enterprise marketplace?