As a bit of a corollary to the post I wrote this week for my pals at GigaOM, there is the question about why aren’t MagicJack and Clearwire working together, as disruptors of the telecom status quo? MagicJack, as inventor Dan Borislaw will tell you, is making hay selling a $40 device that lets you make cheap calls over your broadband connection. And Clearwire is using WiMax to make that broadband connection cheaper.
Doesn’t the combo sound right for some of that peanut-butter/chocolate kind of hookup? It sure seems so to MagicJack’s Borislow. But so far, he says that the Clearwire folks haven’t rung his bell, despite the potential leads he might be able to provide from his customer list.
“It blows me away, the fact that they don’t call me up,” said Borislaw about Clearwire.
In their defense, the Clearwire folks are busy trialing their own version of Voice over IP, which they probably plan to charge more for than MagicJack’s $20-per-year service. Right now, Clearwire is only offering voice as a $25-per-month option in its Portland market; while Clearwire has said that its customers can use any VoIP application they choose, in previous interviews company execs like co-chairman Ben Wolff have said that they plan to offer voice services robust enough to justify the planned charges.
Sounds good — but in these economic times, MagicJack’s $20 per year might sound even better. But instead of competing, it’s gotta be at least worth a call to Borislaw to see if there’s a potential partnership, no?