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Voice 2.0 Chickens are RoostingSaunders-45X64.JPG
Posted by Alec Saunders

Are the incumbents really planning a Skype competitor? I wish them luck, if so. If there's anything that the last 4 years have shown, it's that it's hard to build a PC based soft phone. Skype is really the only company that has made a success of it, and it's only in the last 12 months that sound quality has reached acceptable levels. As Jim Courtney pointed out, many of the predictions of the Voice 2.0 Manifesto are coming true. The price of minutes is going to zero, everywhere. Users are choosing to build opt-in directory networks - they're today's social networks. The telecom industry is being neatly carved up into directory, access and applications, just as I predicted it would. Here's the rub. Today's rich user directories are held at companies like Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and the Internet. Applications, which are dependent on access to those directories, are being built to be dependent on not a telco network, but Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and the Internet. The incumbents are missing the party and the value of their business is being eroded. In fact, their voice networks are valueless. I repeat, the voice networks they have built have no value any more. Five years ago that wasn't true. But today, sophisticated software based switching equipment can be run on Amazon's EC3, requiring no hardware investment from the developer. It's only a matter of time before telco's are reduced to fibre backbones taking all their voice traffic to a compute cloud hosted in the Dalles Oregon, or Eastern Washington. Click here to read more of Alec's blog .

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