VoIP Guys Missing The Point

from the no,-no,-no... dept

While it’s not a huge surprise, given their heritage and attempt to simply emulate the phone system in just about every way, it looks like the major VoIP players are making the same mistakes that many wireless carriers have been making. They’re focused on controlling the experience. Now that they’ve convinced many people they can offer telephone-like service at cheap prices, they are now trying to focus on rolling out more advanced applications, so they can start upselling on features. The problem is, however, that (just like the mobile carriers) they somehow think that only they can design the right applications for a VoIP system. This means that a company like AT&T is working on, you guessed it, video calling over VoIP. Yes, video calling. The same thing that AT&T and others have been hyping for decades and which never catches on. There’s no difference in doing video calling over a phone line or over VoIP, so why should it catch on now? The advantage that they have with VoIP is they can open it up, so that anyone can develop applications that work off the VoIP network. The old phone system had the applications centralized. VoIP systems don’t need to have that limitation. They can pull applications from anywhere. That’s where the disruption will occur. That’s where the innovation will occur — and that’s where the money is.

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Comments on “VoIP Guys Missing The Point”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

I beg to differ

You said ” There’s no difference in doing video calling over a phone line or over VoIP, so why should it catch on now?”

The *huge* difference is that every time they tried to do video calling in the past, there was no broadband involved. They tried to send voice and video over a dial up connection.

I doubt anyone is using a pay-service VOIP provider over a dial-up connection, that would be silly. It’s relatively safe to assume that greater than 99% of your paying VOIP customers have a broadband connection – a connection that can handle real time video calls.

Now, as to whether or not you can actually make any money off of it, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the porn industry does with it – they are the world leaders in technology innovation, after all…

Greg says:

Re: I beg to differ

I dont really see video calling ever being popular for anything more than business to business applications between known parties and communication between telecommuting employees (or the adult industry as you state). Say for negotiating, meetings things like that. In the business environment people generally make an effort to ensure they are presentable.

But at home people generally like to relax when they are at home, they dont have to want to worry about what they look like someone calls them up. There is also the ongoing trend of cordless phones, which takes away that freedom of movement to stand in front of a camera. Some people just dont want other people to be able to see inside their houses. There are just soo many issues.

Though, im sure many of these issues could be addressed. The result is going to be something not quite as simple and convenient as purely voice only system.


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