Wednesday, February 22, 2006

End Of The Road For Skype And Vonage?

When eBay announced they were purchasing Skype, the VOIP provider, I really thought it was a mistake. Time will tell, but Andrew Orlowski at The Register gives us his vision with a story called Skype and Vonage: Thank you and goodnight.

It's small, it's boring and won't turn any heads - but it probably spells the end of the road for Skype, Vonage and any other hopeful independent VoIP companies. It's Nokia's 6136 phone, which allows you to make calls over your home or office Wi-Fi network, as well as on a regular cellular network.

UMA, or unlicensed mobile access, is the mobile operators' answer to the threat of VoIP - and now it's reality.

John Barry, a product developer at Nokia had this to say.

So what would Kolderup advise Skype and Vonage to do next?

"If you'd asked me a year ago I'd have advised Vonage to go public - which they have - and Skype to get bought - which they have too."

So long then VoIP, and thanks for the free calls


Anonymous said...

This does seem like a tough situation for Vonage, I don't think I agree with the comment about Skype. Because Skype can do PC to landline calls, think of this scenario, you are browsing through Google Local or ebay listings and come across a phone number and you just click on it and you are connected to the other party. This value proposition of Skype is still there.

-Anup Yanamandra

Scott Shaffer said...

The value lies in the direct connection ability from a VOIP hyperlink.

I see that, but is/was it worth $3b? Or could eBay have created that application for much cheaper.

What happens when Google adds phone hyperlinks to their Base service?

A two pronged attack on eBay I see coming.

John Dowd said...

You can create a virtual hyperlink using Vonage by highlighting a number in any text hyperlinked or not and it will dial same by depressing a function key.