Why VoIP Won't Kill Traditional Telcos

from the too-easy dept

Earlier this month we wrote about Clay Shirky’s latest thoughts on why Skype was a bigger threat to telecom companies than Vonage. We disagreed with his analysis, pointing out that the so-called “revolutionary” differences of Skype may simply slow down adoption. It may influence the direction of VoIP, but it’s a long way from there to completely undermining traditional telecom’s business models. Salon is now weighing in on the matter, with an opinion piece suggesting that the telcos are poised to embrace and extend VoIP. They’ve seen what VoIP can do via Vonage, and are looking to add that on their own – mostly as part of their battle with the cable companies. In fact, the real issue isn’t about VoIP undercutting voice revenues – but that VoIP may be the “killer app” that drives broadband adoption. For VoIP, users need a broadband connection. If telcos can offer “cheap” VoIP by bundling that price into their DSL offerings, then it’s not such a big issue that VoIP eats away at their traditional voice revenue. That’s not to say that things like Skype won’t eventually have an impact on how VoIP services develop, but it does suggest that people shouldn’t just count out the telecom companies. They may not fully embrace the power of VoIP – but they’re not completely in the dark on this one. If anything, VoIP will drive them to focus more on being broadband providers, and less on being “telcos”.

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Comments on “Why VoIP Won't Kill Traditional Telcos”

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Dan Neuman says:

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Primus (a long-distance carrier) in Canada is now offering VoIP for broadband users. I believe that they are using a separate device (like Vonage). It may also be a way for long-distance carriers to compete with the local service providers without having to pay the fees to use their wires and facilities.

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