Vonage enters UK VoIP market – almost unnoticed

6 Jan 2005

Vonage Holdings Corp, a voice-over-IP service provider based in the US, has launched its commercial operation in the UK. In a low-key affair – the company opted not to announce the launch officially to the press – Vonage began taking orders through its new UK website on 28 December, with customer enquiries being handled directly via its US call centre. Despite the company’s softly, softly launch, in the coming weeks it is expected to implement a nationwide advertising campaign in partnership with several High Street partners, in a bid to target the country’s five million-plus broadband users. Vonage is offering residential customers unlimited local and national calls to fixed line numbers in the UK and Ireland for GBP9.99 (USD18.76) a month, while small businesses will be charged GBP18.99 per month for a similar service. The new offering differs from other VoIP products in that it runs directly through a user’s landline phone. Vonage provides its customers with an adaptor that connects the broadband connection directly to the landline, rather than through a headset plugged into a PC.

The newcomer’s arrival will be tracked closely by rivals in a market already brimming with low-cost voice telephony packages. Although the UK is something of a gamble, Vonage has enjoyed considerable success in its home market signing up more than 400,000 users and doubling its subscriber base in less than six months – it added 115,000 in the fourth quarter of 2004 alone.

United Kingdom