At CeBIT this week, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner revealed that 33% of the world’s voice calls happen on Skype now, as Stephen Shankland reports. That’s a tremendous number. But it just might represent a hollow victory for Microsoft, which owns Skype.
Microsoft acquired Skype to “increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities.” The video aspect of the deal may well bear fruit, but voice? Voice communication is now a commodity, one that telcos – mobile and fixed line alike – are finding it increasingly hard to monetize.
This Is The United States Calling, Are We Reaching…?
Ironically, Skype can shoulder some of the blame, as an ARCchart study points out. And I might as well admit it: I’m part of the problem. I had to make a call from London to the US today, and didn’t want to impoverish my family by paying AT&T’s absurdly high roaming rates. So I sprinted to St. Pancras station, logged into the free wifi, and made my call using Skype. It wasn’t free, but at pennies per minute, it might as well have been.