Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So why isn't everyone on Skype?

When eBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, many thought it a wise move. But how would they make money from free VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) services?

Today we read two pieces of news which start to join the dots. First a new service to link Sykpe to landlines for free in the UK and several other EU countries, including France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Skype Pro offers anyone who signs up discounts on Skype-certified phones and free Skype Voicemail, as well as free calls to landlines. Skype Pro users will also be able to make video calls to other Skype users.

A five month package will cost about £7 and you will receive about £3 free credit from Skype. When the five months is up, customers will be charged around £1.20 a month for the service. With over 170 million registered users, the world is certainly changing. Personally I now have an ‘X Series’ phone from 3, which gives me free skype calls and access on the move 24 x 7. I obviously also have the service on my PC for when iam in the office. With daily confernce calls to India, Australia and the US, my collegues and I in Value Chain use VOIP and Skype all the time.

So who needsa land line?

The second news is from the San Jose headquarters of eBay. The comapny is not only changing how their employees communiicate, but also how they work in this new world. Their latest move, ‘the cubicle swap’, is intended to bring together the engineers and the businesspeople who work on specific projects, while migrating employees off their landline telephones and getting them to use their Internet calling service Skype.Why is it taking so long for business to grasp this opportunity?

One issue with mobiles has always been finding other people on services where there are no directories. Skype enables users to synchromies their contact database with the service and select matches. It is easy to see the day when we pay one service charge and get as much as we can eat for free. This is in turn will change how we use the network and confirm the mobile as the key device to technology convergence.