Chris Kranky

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Not at home

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

T-Mobile USA recently announced they were halting new sales and would ultimately shut down their @Home VoIP telephone service. VoIP pundits were quick to scratch their heads, the folks at FierceWireless saying “It is unclear why exactly the carrier decided to drop the service, which it has offered since July 2008.” What a bunch of idiots. Why do I read such dribble.

image3435T-Mobile shuttered the service for a very simple reason — it wasn’t selling. Duh! At a mere $10 a month, the pricing wasn’t the problem, in fact, I’d argue that $10 from a reliable brand such as T-Mobile was almost too cheap. For those of you (I assume most of you) who didn’t attend MBA school, get out the classic BCG matrix to figure this out.

At $10 a month, T-Mobile wasn’t likely making much money off the service and since it wasn’t selling all that well and since they have limited retail space, well it’s dead man walking. Had the service been selling like hot cakes and despite the relative low profitability, T-Mobile would have kept the service.

Unfortunately, this is another coffin nail for home telephone service. People simply don’t want or need a home phone line. In ten years, us old timers will be talking about how everyone had a phone line. With the demise, a entire series of industries will simply disappear. Cordless telephones? Who needs them? Modular jacks made in China. No more. 66 style cross connect blocks. Done. Follow the cable all the way back and each piece of equipment will no longer be needed and no amount of marketing, repositioning and sales push is gonna change it.

Wireless wins. Game over.