VoIP vinaigrette

Are these the salad days for Vonage and other standalone VoIP providers, and from here on it'll be down hill? SBC Chief Financial Officer Richard Lindner all but predicted as much Monday during a conference call with analysts to discuss SBC's latest financial results. He told financial analysts that independent VoIP companies' growth is slowing down.

To be sure, VoIP's growth is far from over, just look at the thousands of new customer additions at Vonage every week, and the tens of thousands flocking to free phone operator Skype each day. But Lindner is touching on an idea that's gaining support from all sides of the VoIP realm. It's expected that independent VoIP providers – those that only sell VoIP -- will ultimately lose out to cable and telephone giants that own their own networks. The killer blow is the bundles of very steeply discounted telephone, video and broadband network owners can sell, and the Vonages of the world can not.

It's upto the Vonage, Skype et al to prove everybody wrong.