Ma Bell's VOIP Vacuum

8:00 AM -- Are AT&T's VOIP numbers disappointing? One analyst, Halpern Capital's Keith Dalrymple, thinks so. His recent research note explains:
As of 12/31/04, the [AT&T CallVantage] service had approximately 53,000 subscribers. We consider the number low, particularly given the significant marketing push during the 2004 summer Olympic Games when CallVantage ads appeared to be ubiquitous in media... [Competitors] Packet8 and Lingo had approximately 40,000 and 50,000 subscribers, respectively, at the end of 2004. Both companies have significantly less “brand equity” than AT&T and have certainly spent less on marketing...

In our opinion, if CallVantage were successful, the subscriber numbers would more comparable with Vonage’s year-end number of 400,000 activated lines rather than the smaller competitors. Given the recent performance, it appears doubtful that the previously stated goal of having 1 million CallVantage users by 2006 is achievable.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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