Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Skype and the free telephony model

I am a bit curious on the last Skype move.
They declared that the price wars are going to settle on free PSTN calls worldwide in the next 10 years. Well, they are pushing the thing a bit, I think. They who must not be named are offering free calls from North America to North America wirelines.

It's like breaking windows with rocks that have been wrapped with a leaflet, which says:

"Your glass has been broken? Call 800-555-GLASS and we'll repair it instantly!"

What really scares me is that low-cost VoIP termination is not reaching the expected results, even for the leading service provider (as long as we consider their huge user share).
I foresee a dark future, where lots of VoIP companies will fail to achieve sufficient business performances, having their workforce, their intelligence, and their creativity devoured by the wildest and the bravest.

Voice communication has been already commoditized by telco incumbents, the true marketing advantage is the nomadic experience: mobile phones are the perfect substitution to wireline, but they are still too much expensive, and they miss the interoperability of a smart terminal.
People want a more coherent experience, where communication can be routed and managed with something bigger than a 16-button pad and 2" display: what about a PC with a web browser?
What if it were a TV?

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