Vonage's Citron doesn't fear bundled VoIP service offerings: but he should

In this space, I've written frequently about how I view the coming battle for VoIP subscribers as one between the bundled service offerings of call providers with IM roots (Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN) and bundled offerings of cable companies traditional telephony service providers.

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In this space, I've written frequently about how I view the coming battle for VoIP subscribers as one between the bundled service offerings of call providers with IM roots (Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN) and bundled offerings of cable companies traditional telephony service providers.

I have maintained, and still do, that the marketing juggernaut and pricing discounts that these channels will use to push their VoIP plans will put stand-alone, pure-play VoIP providers such as Vonage at a major disadvantage.

Well, Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron doesn't think so. He doesn't even sound worried.

Just the other day, Citron sounded off on this subject in remarks quoted by London-based financial analysis firm World Markets Research Centre.

"Finally, the ability of cable operators and Baby Bells to provide bundled voice, broadband, video and mobile services should not frighten the likes of Vonage, which provides only one of these services," writes World Markets' Julian Watson. "Consumers, Citron said, were good at putting together their own service packages (rather than automatically signing up to a bundle of services, some of which they might not want)."

My take on this is that while some consumers will be industrious enough "putting together their own service packages," that low-hanging fruit is already on board.

Call me "elitist," but there will be many lazy, gullible consumers out there who will hop on their current telecom or cable provider's brand of VoIP because they will be sucked in by the marketing juggernaut and attractive introductory pricing with sunsets quicker than Fairbanks in February.