Friday, September 16, 2005

The Economist on EBay/Skype and VoIP in General 

Alec Saunders is pointing to an arcticle in The Economist yesterday: The Meaning of Free Speech:

The Economist uses EBay’s acquisition of Skype as a jumping off point to discuss a number of issues, including the vulnerability of traditional telecoms pricing models to VoIP.

I got the article sent over already in the morning via Vince Humphries from Down Under, he gets up much earlier ;-)

The article is in two parts:

1. the eBay/Skype deal and its implications
2. about the implications of VoIP in general

I like this article, because I was planning to write down and summarize the ideas I scattered over my blog in the last months. Now I saved a lot of work.

There are some minor points I disagree with:

The survival for fixed operators will not be the NGN, the IMS or the 21CN, it will be the access (and the services, as stated correctly in the arcticle)

I also disagree with the role of IPTV (at least as is works currently). I have IPTV and it is nice to watch Austrian TV abroad, but e.g channel hopping is not really possible (because of the buffering it takes more then 10 secs to switch). Maybe it works with integrated services like TiVo in the US (using local HDD andan integrated progam guide with intelligent monitoring of user behaviour).

I fully agree with figure 2 (Vulnerable to VoIP)

This is what I am trying to say all the time:

The vulnerability and the threat by VoIP is much bigger to the mobile operators then to the fixed operators.

Agree that mobile minutes are just as much at risk, Richard, but Tomi Ahonen doesn't think so... in his analysis of the Economist article
Prepaid might be interesting, as they are pay-per-use and there may need to be a different access model for those customers, but it's doubtful to me that anyone will make much revenue from voice minutes or usage measure.
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