CES 2008 is best remembered as the year when it became fashionable for the media to question the relevance of this uber-convention, and for many to skip attendance altogether. Given the intense and in-depth media coverage of the show, attendance should no longer be considered mandatory unless you’re trying to tease out the trends and make the observations missed by the mainstream media. This is what we took away from the show and what Nyquist readers will find relevant.
Google (GOOG) appears to be buying GrandCentral, a company that merges VoIP and advanced calling features. They provide you with a single phone number and web/mobile interfaces to manage call redirection, voicemail, address books, etc. Think of it as VoIP on steroids and EPO, simultaneously. Click over to their Features page for a better description and familiarize yourself with how outdated a plain landline has become.
Everyone agrees fixed line is a dying, low margin business. Yet Cablecos like Comcast (CMCSA), Cablevision (CVC), Shaw (SJR), and Time Warner (TWX) are feverishly trying to capture market share in this business. Why?
Businessweek writes about T-mobile and a new service they are rolling out using UMA phones (dual GSM/WiFi). These new mobile phones make use of the WiFi network and broadband connection in a users home to make phone calls off the GSM or cellular network.
Contrary to popular opinion, the real threat to the baby bells residential phone business is not the cableco’s VoIP but wireless substitution. Competition from cell phones was eating away at residential lines long before the cablecos began deploying voice services.
Most baby bells already have a wireless infrastructure. None of the cablecos do. This is why the Baby Bells ultimately have the upper hand over the cableco in the battle for residential subscribers. They can migrate their customers (and their phone numbers) to a wireless infrastructure, and Comcast (CMCSA) / Cablevision (CVC) /Time Warner (TWX) cannot. Comcast can migrate customers to Sprint/Nextel (S ), but without owning the infrastructure they won’t extract maximum value.
Wireless is the commanding heights and the most important infrastructure to own and operate in a voice network. Everything else is a commodity.
It sure is vogue to point at the Vonage (VG) IPO and let fly with the ‘I told you so’s’.
I’m angry though. Not at Vonage – I’m actualy impressed with their (really, their brokers) ability to get the deal done. What I am angry about is how some are now saying that the consumers who agreed to buy shares shouldn’t have to pay.
Unless you’ve been under a rock you have probably heard that Vonage (VG) went public Wednesday. It’s off 25% as of right now.
Seeking Alpha summarizes the recent opinions here.
I wrote back in February what I thought about Vonage. Nobody liked it then, nobody liked it Wed. morning, yet Deutsche Bank and Citibank managed to rally the throbbing VoIP masses to get this deal done.
This is a case where they certainly earned their fee with a spectacular sales job.
I’ll be the first to call it – the class-action attorneys are going to try and monetize the Vonage customer class of shareholders that took 13.5% of this deal. Vonage used tactics of a bucket-shop, pitching yours truly by email, voicemail, and snail mail. Fair? No. Reality? Yes.
I’ve written very little on the Vonage Holdings Corp. IPO.
Just received via email:
Dear Valued Vonage Customer,