08/26/2005: The Beginning of the VOIP wars…
….between Google “talk” and Skype and Vonage.
”…A decade after the first commercial Voice over Internet Protocol services launched, Voip's growing popularity is beginning to threaten traditional carriers.
The promise of free, or dramatically discounted, calls via personal computers attracted an estimated 3m people in the US to internet telephone services last year. IDC, an IT and telecoms consultancy, predicts that will rise to 27m by 2009. An estimated two thirds of large US businesses are using Voip for all or some of their telecoms needs.
Google is entering a crowded field, but some early leaders are emerging. Vonage, which charges $24.99 (£13.89) a month for unlimited calls, has signed up 700,000 people in three years. Skype, which has grown through word of mouth, has signed up 2m paying customers before its second birthday.
As an OECD report published yesterday spelled out, the march of internet telephony threatens traditional, fixed-line revenues, particularly for lucrative international calls, where online upstarts can offer the steepest discounts...”
Karen on 08.26.05 @ 06:45 AM CST