Vonage World Plan: Blowing Away the Competition
Calling overseas has historically been a prohibitively expensive activity. Of course, as technology has gradually improved, the price has gone down considerably. The advent of the internet marked the steepest drop in prices, once internet companies and start-up international calling card companies were able to compete with the telephone company giants. The competition is for the dollars of those members of society for whom overseas calling is an everyday inevitability. Key market groupings include:
- Businesses and non-profit organizations with international branches and offices
- Businesses and non-profit organizations that provide services or goods in international markets, or purchase from international providers
- Immigrants and refugees whose family remain outside of the US
- Academics and college students who study abroad
- Military men and women who are deployed abroad and their families
Obviously, the market for international calling is incredibly large and diverse, and the demand for low rates made the competition stiff. For a while, international calling got cheaper and cheaper, but has, for the last 5-10 years, remained largely static. It seemed that telephone companies, calling card companies, and even VoIP providers were unwilling or unable to go cheaper, and for most countries, it still wasn't that cheap. Some VoIP providers offered targeted plans that included a specialized area of the world, in an attempt to appeal to one or the other of these markets, but anyone whose international calling needs were diverse or unusual was pretty much out of luck.
However, this August, the pioneering VoIP service provider, Vonage, astonished the industry by unveiling their latest package they call the World Plan. Tailored to meet the needs and primary requests of their growing customer base, the World Plan offers completely free, unlimited international calling to 60 countries worldwide. This previously unheard of breadth of scope, comes at an equally astonishing price, a mere $24.99 a month. Unless competitors scramble to somehow match the incredible offer of this plan, you can expect to see every single sector described above migrating to Vonage subscribership. Their explosively expanded market includes more than two-thirds of the world's population, 4.5 billion people. The 60 included countries contain most of the major world players, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Canada, Iraq, India and all of Europe.
**Key players notably absent in this new marketing blitz are the Philippines and Mexico