Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

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)

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...