By Ben Charny
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Broadband telephone service provider Vonage said Monday that it has replaced Cisco Systems with Motorola as its exclusive telephone adapter supplier.
As a result of the deal with Motorola, each of the approximately 2,500 subscribers that Vonage adds each week will be given Motorola’s VT1000v. Known as an Analog Telephone Adapter, the device plugs into a broadband connection and lets traditional home or office phones make telephone calls that use the Internet and avoid additional charges from telephone companies. Vonage continues to use Cisco network gear, including gateway and call-manager products.
Vonage Chief Executive Jeffrey Citron said Motorola’s adapter was less expensive than Cisco’s and let subscribers simultaneously make telephone calls and surf the Web on a PC or laptop. The Cisco adaptor forced Vonage subscribers to buy their own device, called a router, if they wanted to similarly multitask, he added.
“We raised these issues with Cisco,” Citron said. “They said it was on their product road map,” but not soon enough for Vonage.
Citron said that the shift to Motorola was the result of general problems such as Cisco not “delivering products at price points we want” or adapting to market demand. These shortcomings “left the door wide open” for competition to attack Cisco’s leading share of the voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment sales market, Citron said.
A Cisco representative said that the company “is committed to enabling service providers’ success by delivering advanced and unique technologies that are driving the delivery of new revenue generating IP services.” The company has experienced stronger-than-expected demand for equipment from all kinds of telephone carriers, whether landline or broadband, the representative added.
Despite having just 75,000 subscribers, Vonage has built a reputation as a major broadband phone company because of its battle with state regulators over whether its telephone service should be regulated.