The VOIP Count

4:20 PM -- In Huntsville, Ala., somewhere inside the offices of Digium Inc. , is a white board counting the number of calls from people saying they want to be the next Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG).

As in, "the next VOIP powerhouse ready to unseat the telcos," not, "the next money-losing company with a ski slope of a stock chart." (See Vonage Gets a Haircut.) Digium gets those calls because it's the "benevolent owner," as its executives say, of Asterisk, the open-source PBX/telephony platform. (See Open Source Eyes Telecom.) Asterisk can be the cheap foundation for any number of businesses -- like a VOIP service.

Digium won't say what the white-board number is up to, but it's big. And its growth rate has slowed down a lot.

SunRocket's collapse probably scared off some wannabes, but Digium CEO Danny Windham thinks the chilling effect comes mostly from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). (See Vonage Ordered to Pay $58M to Verizon, Appeals Court Lifts Vonage Injunction, and Court Asks VG, VZ to Mend Fences.)

Nice bubble while it lasted.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:03:30 PM
re: The VOIP Count Well, this is interesting -- got an email from someone who interpreted the post as a knock against Digium.

To clarify: It's not Digium that was in a bubble, it's all those get-rich-quick VOIP providers.

Digium, from what I can tell, is doing just great, and Asterisk's success is not a function of the number of VOIP wannabes. They've got better (and more successful) fields to plow.

But -- starting your own Vonage to unseat the telcos? That battle's done.
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