Monday, November 07, 2005

VoIP is coming

Some telling news around VoIP:
  • The VoIP market is gaining traction, according to KPN in its Q3 report (see slide 24). The new InternetPlusBellen product (ADSL + VoIP) is now ready for launch, since the regulator allowed it to be priced at cost level and because KPN has ironed out some quality wrinkels. Multi-channel launch December 2005, full commercial launch 06Q1.
  • SBC's Ed Whitacre would like to charge Google and Yahoo! for access to his pipes, according to this BusinessWeek interview. He seemed to have been misquoted. He doesn't want to share his new fiber network (which regulators have already granted). Or does he mean that he wants to block third-party VoIP as soon as he readies his fiber network?
  • Richard Stastny points out that it is not Google et al but the customer using these applications. And this customer is paying for this.
  • Jeff Pulver points to the facts that broadband applications in general drive the uptake of DSL connections. Whitacre should be grateful. But Pulver warns that the Bells may replicate the LD-for-UNEP game: once regulation disappears altogether (so far, DSL and fiber do not need to be shared), unaffiliated VoIP providers can be targeted for being freeriders. he advises Whitacre to keep his mouth shut for a few months, or else he would simply be making the case for regulation.
  • The SBC-AT&T and Verizon-MCI mergers were allowed on the condition of 'net neutrality': hands-off applications such as VoIP.
  • United Online managed to build a VoIP product that works on narrowband connections, 'NetZero Voice'.
  • BT some time ago reduced its (promo) price to below Skype levels.
  • Dean Bubley warns that VoIP will have an even greater impact on the wireless industry.

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