Mark Goldston, United Online's CEO, discusses his plans to enter the Voice over IP market during his Q4 earnings conference call:
Today we're announcing our intention to build a completely new business within United Online… We are creating a VoIP division… and it's our intention to develop and market a nationally advertised, value-priced VoIP product under the NetZero brand name to the consumer market by the end of 2005.
The NetZero VoIP product will be designed to replace conventional home phone services and give consumers a high quality, attractively priced alternative to existing home LAN lines service and competitive VoIP entries. We will have multiple aspects to our VoIP product array and the goal of becoming the same kind of powerful disruptive market force in the VoIP category that we have been in the Internet access category.
We think the VoIP category is going to be huge and that it's got many of the same dynamics as the dialup Internet access market, including many of the same telecom-vendor relationships that we have today, similar types of scalability techniques, similar connectivity software, etc… We're still refining our plan and our launch date is being nailed down as we speak.
The competition in the value dial-up segment is greater today than it has been at any point in our history.
(Quotes from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)