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News Editor

Bon Vonage

Feb 09, 20061 min

So what’s it going to be with VoIP provider Vonage?

The next Google or eBay (which already swallowed up Vonage competitor Skype)?

Or the next TiVo (which everybody adores but can’t make a dime)?

We’ll know soon enough after yesterday’s news from Vonage that the company will be trying to raise $250 million in a much-anticipated IPO.

The offering may not be the slam-dunk many thought it would be when Vonage first emerged from anonymity to begin a run that has it now controlling more than half of the consumer VoIP market in North America. As this BusinessWeek story nicely summarizes, Vonage faces a host of obstacles that include increasing competition — especially from deep-pocketed major players — rising customer-acquisition costs and declining revenue on a per-line basis.

In fact, doubts about the company’s long-term prospects have been bubbling up for about as long as the IPO rumors.

   One thing this IPO will not be is a referendum on VoIP; that genie’s not going back into the bottle.

The only question is who’s going to find a way to make money off it — and who’s going to go broke trying.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at