Skype Journal Test

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

3 and Skype to interchange minutes, unify calling experience

In Olga Kharif's VoIP Goes Mobile in today's BusinessWeek [emphasis mine]:

Skype, the eBay (EBAY)-owned service used by more than 338 million people to make free PC-to-PC calls, later this year plans to release a new product called "Skype for your mobile" that will let customers use local wireless minutes to make international calls.

And later in the story...

Later this year, Skype will launch its Skype Out service, letting 3's Skype customers make calls to home and wireless phone numbers of non-Skype users. "I think we are seeing a real change in operator approaches to Skype," explains Tony Saigh, who heads business development for mobile at Skype. "There's a realization that providing customers with additional modes of communications is good. The real battle is how do you keep your customers engaged."

    Update: "When this feature does launch, 3 Skypephone users will only be allowed to call international numbers using Skype Credit; they won’t be allowed to make domestic calls using Skype" said a Skype representative.

So you'll be able to make SkypeOut calls with your voice going

  1. over the mobile carrier's voice network
  2. to the iSkoot PSTN-to-Skype gateway,
  3. where Skype's SkypeOut network carries your call over the Internet
  4. to Skype's Skype-to-PSTN SkypeOut gateway and then
  5. to your destination phone number.

Quality. Is the operator content to have Skype take responsibility for the VoIP side of call quality on SkypeOut calls? You could look at the millions of SkypeOut minutes Skype serves now.

Sales. The operator still gets their minutes used, even if they route the call over Skype's network. Could our five hour Skype calls drive the sales of higher minute plans? Do freakishly long Skype calls make up for so many of those calls being free/in-network?

Experience. Will the consumer gets a unified calling and billing system (Skype's)? A more completely Skype/iSkoot experience? Seems so.

Rates. Do mobile operators consider Skype's wholesale SkypeOut costs for long distance and international calls competitive? They are not the cheapest on Earth, but still cheaper than typical astronomical international rates.

If Skype has a few hundred thousand Skypephone users by the end of 2009, what could this do to Skype's 2009 SkypeOut revenue?

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