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Networking This Week: Vonage Heads Toward 1 Million Subscribers

Step 1: Turn on your TV set. Step 2: Watch the "Whoo-hoo, who-hoo-hoo" Vonage commercials. Step 3: Become very annoyed. Step 4: Subscribe to Vonage.

That seems to be the pattern for Vonage, if the CEO is to be believed. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Citron told the Reuters news agency this week that Vonage will have one million subscribers by year's end. It currently has more than 700,000 subscribers, and adds approximately 15,000 new subscribers a week, he added.

One million may sound like a big number, but compared to the potential audience for consumer VoIP it's a relative drop in the bucket. Expect a price war among operators, who will rush to offer VoIP services, often as part of a "triple play" of voice, video, and Internet access.

Upstream from the operators are hardware manufacturers, who are rushing out equipment for operators capable of handling VoIP and triple play. So this week Alcatel released a triple-play solution for operators --- a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) Fiber-To-The-User solution that adds a "last mile" option to end-to-end triple play architectures, enabling service providers to deploy voice, data, and video services to users at rates up to 2.5Gbps.

Motorola, meanwhile, targeted a similar market with two transmitter modules that will allow cable operators to offer advanced broadband services such as Video-on-Demand (VOD) and VoIP without having to invest in more fiber.

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