Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

i-Technology Blog: Zero-Cost Telephony, the 6-Ton Elephant in the Telco Room

GoogleTalk Has a Better Chance Than eBay to Take Over the VoIP Market

Zero-Cost Telephony, the 6-Ton Elephant in the Telco Room

It's a curious side-effect of monitoring Internet technologies 24x7x365 that one loses sight occasionally of the wood for the trees. Take eBay's $4BN acquisition of Skype, for example - an acquisition that when it was announced on September 12 caused ripples of worry Web-wide that perhaps Skype calls would one day soon cease to be free. No one need have worried. In the new Web 2.0 world toward which we're hurtling, eBay stands about as much chance of charging people to make calls on Skype as Google does of charging people to search at Google.com.

And now Meg Whitman has conceded as much. But Whitman has done more than just that. She's also thrown down the gauntlet to all-comers in the telephony industry, by proclaiming that within six years all voice calls will be free, not just Skype calls but voice calls of every kind. In other words VoIP, the ultimate disruptive technology, has changed not just the physics but also the economics of telephony. "In the end, the price that anyone can provide for voice transmission on the Net will trend toward zero," she said.

Where does this leave the traditional telcos? Ever since founding Wireless Business & Technology magazine back in 2000 [below], VoIP has been the six-ton elephant in the room, that every carrier has known is there but that they've not been willing (till now) to talk about.

With her bold prediction, Whitman is "outing" the traditional companies, but she is also forcing herself to explain to the investment community, already skeptical of the huge price-tag for Skype, just how eBay is proposing to monetize the opportunity.

Whitman's play is to have, through the acquisition, what she calls the largest "ecosystem."

"What I mean by that is: the largest number of registered users, the largest number of voice minutes, the largest number of developers who develop the platform, the best product ... that users are willing and want to pay for," she explained.

In my view, GoogleTalk is far better positioned to take over the zero-cost telephony market than eBay. But that's because I have a sneaking suspicion that Sergey Brin and Larry Page may be able to take advantage of the new mandatory wiretapping laws and pioneer automated systems that scan your conversation for keywords and give you related ads - much like its existing AdSense program, but with voice content instead of written words...

How strange to think that companies like Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint may very soon simply be made irrelevant by commercial realizations like this of the experimental Network Voice Protocol originally invented 'way back in 1973 for the ARPANET. And yet how satisfying. For didn't we all experience price gauging by the wireless giants? And now what goes around comes around, and people will have a chance to dump traditional telephone companies faster than you can say  SkypeIn, SkypeOut, and Skype VoiceMail.

posted Saturday, 22-Oct-2005



More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Tom Foale 10/24/05 10:37:40 AM EDT

I got asked by one of the big telco's to take a look at the economic implications of Ebay's purchase of Skype. I blogged part of my answer at http://honeycombsystems.blogspot.com/2005/10/ebays-purchase-of-skype-for...
I don't believe Google has much of a chance in this market, whatever goes on with regulation in the US telephony market with wiretapping.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...