Verizon Communications has eliminated a discount on Internet phone services it once offered to its broadband customers.
The discounts end and price cuts announced May 3 suggest Verizon is trying to jump-start interest in the feature and starting to market it more aggressively, said Lynda Starr, a senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
At Verizon, unlimited calls to anywhere in North America and U.S. territories now costs $25 a month, regardless of whether you get broadband from Verizon.
Since its debut in July 2004, Verizon VoiceWing customers always received a $5 a month discount if they also got broadband from Verizon.
Verizon lowered the overall price of the service as well. It used to cost $30 for broadband customers, and $35 for non-broadband customers.
Since its introduction, Verizons VoiceWing has accrued 27,000 customers, or about 5 percent of the U.S. residential market, Starr said.
Verizons subscriber tally, Starr said, is far from the multiple millions of customers of some top VOIP (voice over IP) providers.
VOIP is a burgeoning industry. There are about 1.5 million subscribers now, but that will blossom in 2010 to about 18 million, or about $4 billion a year in revenue, Starr said.
The expected growth is largely from major U.S. cable operators that are now using Net phone services to battle major telephone operators.