Vonage, Skype, Teleo


While I was away there were some developments. For instance all the big players quickly denied that they were blocking Vonage. So it is still a big mystery. Broadband Reports has some sporadic reports. Talking about upstarts, Tom Markiewicz has a nice round-up of Skype News. Skype has joined the mile high club. The company’s software was used by a blogger over Boeing’s Connexion broadband service at 30,000 feet to complete free calls. Time to kiss Verizon’s Airfone goodbye. Engadget says not so fast – some of their readers did not have such a great experience with the offering. Skype guru Stuart has an interesting post on Teleo.

“Still I’ve played with it and it is at best a Vonage substitute,” he says. ” I’m looking at it as a temporary way to dump my Vonage line. At the moment it’s another smart PoIP play. It’s most likely to hurt Vonage and similar competitors. It won’t do any damage to Skype.”


Aswath Rao

You packed too many stories in one. So I have to reply in kind and include multiple comments in one.

My first comment is related to Vonage’s complaint. A story in AdvancedIP Pipeline was mentioned by Kevin Werbach but was not picked up by other VoIP bloogers says that Vonage made an informal complaint to FCC and they have not had any follow-up discussion. This is truly amazing for me that the VoIP community is willing to go to bat on such a flimsy ground. Also why did Verizon and SBC declare that they are not blocking, even though Powell went out of his way to clear them? If somebody accuses that a Rao is engaging in nefarious activity, do I have to display my innocence? Whatever may have been the motive of Vonage, this story has put incumbents in a defensive posture. The real story here is the fact that VoIP blogging community gave such a wide circulation for this weak a story.

The second comment is related to skyping at six miles. Didn’t Skype get mileage out of this when somebody tried this on another airline? As one of the comments on Engadget points out that the uplink speed is 128 kbps and that the service costs $30 per flight. What happens when this application (skyping) reaches the “tipping pointâ€? on this service? Will Boeing enforce port blocking? Should we then saddle up against Boeing? Those are interesting questions to ponder.

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