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Summary:

Skype is leaping up in the hype sweepstakes. Everywhere I go, I hear about this company. Folks who till recently ignored the software and the service have been waxing eloquent about it. No surprise that Skype is making a quick appearance in the blogsphere as well. […]

Skype is leaping up in the hype sweepstakes. Everywhere I go, I hear about this company. Folks who till recently ignored the software and the service have been waxing eloquent about it. No surprise that Skype is making a quick appearance in the blogsphere as well. Today for instance, my dear friends at Engadget tell us that Skype has signed a deal with HTC, the makers of i-Mate Pocket PC phone. Sweet! The wi-fi enabled phone is perfect for Skype. (Andy calls once a day to remind me and brag! Andy has the EV-DO service from Verizon.) Still, don’t expect any big handset makers like Nokia or Samsung to bundle it with their products. The carriers who tend to lose voice traffic (less spectrum crowding) to a data service (a spectrum hog) and lose voice revenues are going to go ape-shit about this.

I’m increasingly of the opinion the wireless industry is a nice, cozy club for the carriers and device makers. Each group has a vested interest in making each other happy. With the wireless industry finally gaining financial momentum, each constituency is loathe to upset the competitive environment. That’s why Skype will likely always be on the outside looking in. [Mark Evans]

No arguments from me on this one. Stuart speculates that Skype’s Smart Phone version – Symbian and Pocket PC at this point – is going to be out anytime. I expect that soon enough you will see OTA upgrades to the mobile phone OS(es) which will disable Skype. I am pretty sure, I-Mate might soon be finding that carriers don’t love them very much. SkypeIn, as Stuart suggests might be victim of carrier arm-twisting.

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  1. as cozy as the telecom industry is, competition did force prices was down. Cricket’s unmetered mobile voice plans (still) offers unlimited mobile phone calls ANYWHERE in a community for $29.95/month. The average user on their networks uses 1300 MOU/month, making the price/MOU under $0.03…toll quality voice. not a lot of margin there.

  2. Mark there is plenty of margin for Cricket. The reason they went BK in the past was a high churn rate, thus high marketing costs.

    Anyway, even with a retail yeild of 3cts, the direct costs are only ~1cts.

    Btw, as a point of reference VirginMobile, Qwest and ESPN pay sprint ~3.5cts/MOU, but of course the cost structure is higher for a nation vs. local network.

    Om, re: spectrum. 3yrs ago people thought I was nuts (I know, how can that be?) when I told them that wireless has tooo much spectrum, but its not only true, thanks to moore’s law is even more true today.

    Spectrum and thus capacity are in massive thanks to QCOM’s CDMA, what’s actually scarce is capital and profits.

    The real question is why hasn’t Brian Roberts (of Comcast fame) bought these Skype guys. He better do it before yahoo or google does.

    I’ve said it before, but the Sprint PCS people are complete morons thinking that doing wholesale deals with MSO is a worthwhile business.

    I think it should be obvious to even the casual observer that the MSO’s are naturally going to direct (via VoWiFi, etc) as much traffic as possible over their own fixed cost network vs. paying somebody else to handle the traffic.

  3. Om,

    I don’t call you once a day about EVDO…I call you about where I deliver the goods for Club Om….need the address…the Gin is getting warm…

  4. ClubOM opens on Feb 21 Andy. I will give you the address in an offline chat. cheers

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