10 Billion Minutes and Amazin Skype

In the large scheme of telecom things, 10 billion minutes is really like an hour. But for a young start-up like Skype, ten billion minutes is a big achievement. Something that squeezes out a tear of joy from a hard heart skeptic like me. Skype Journal reports that thus far total Skype downloads are upto 122,940,494 and the total minutes served 10 billion. Though I am not wearing rose-colored glasses like those yeoman at SJ, but still I can see Skype is making a lot of folks nervous, including Jeffrey Citron, maverick chief executive of Vonage.

Mark Evans is brave enough to say, Is Citron Nervous About Skype? I get a feeling, it might be making him a little hot under the collar. With SkypeOut/SkpeIn and recent retail moves, it might not be as impossible to imagine Skype-Vonage brawl. Andy is right when he says he doesn’t see Skype as a mainline replacement. Unfortunately, it holds the same for Vonage as well. It is the battle for second option, and roll-in the free minutes from Skype, I guess things can get interesting to say the least.

But the price of success for Skype is going to come in form of more scrutiny. Oman is the latest country to ban Skype calls, and I wonder how many more countries jump on the bandwagon. Mexico and Chile are said to be putting the squeeze of Skype. This is a clear problem for Skype. I still am worried about the lack of profits most VoIP operators are showing right now. I think as Vonage and Skype battle intensifies, folks at Skype will be facing some serious marketing expenses. Might seem hard to imagine – well lets wait and watch. Of course there is Yahoo-DialPad? That surely will steal some of the momentum away from the first two Skype and Vonage!

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