Voice Service Continues To Trend Towards Free
from the it's-like-a-voip-fire-sale dept
VoIP provider Gizmo is the latest company to announce some form of free voice calls, highlighting that the cost of voice service is quickly falling to zero. The Gizmo offer comes with some strings attached, so like Skype’s free calling plan, don’t go thinking you’ll never have to pay for a phone call again just yet, but even VoIP providers without PC-to-PC calling systems, like Cablevision and Vonage, are slashing some of their rates. Gizmo’s plan is to reel customers in with free basic service, then sell them premium services — illustrating the likely billing model for voice in the near future. While basic service may remain free, there’s still plenty of add-ons telephony companies can sell, whether it’s something basic like voicemail or conference calling, or the ubiquitous coverage of a mobile-phone network. So far most of the “free” offers still depend on people using a PC somewhere in the mix, meaning they’re not yet a huge, immediate threat to the likes of AT&T or Verizon — Skype’s low revenue per user makes that much clear. However, they’re indicative of the pricing pressure VoIP will ultimately put on incumbents’ voice services.