Skype offer free Wi-Fi internet access in US airports:
Now I am going to go off topic here a little, so I just wanted to let you know that certain Airports in the US are getting free access to Wi-Fi internet courtesy of Skype from today the 21st of December to the 27th of December, so that is nice isn’t it…;)…well not for Android users who want a little free wi-fi VOIP action while they are waiting in the airport lounge.
You will be able to use Skype on your Windows, Mac OS or iPhone OS device, so no Android, which begs the question are they scared of Gmail talk, and the likes of google+’s communication suite, or is this Microsoft being awkward for the sake of it?
The truth is that most US airports have access to free Wi-Fi anyway so this may not be much of an issue.
Right, back to the point:
Is VOIP on data connections the future of mobile communication?
Imagine been an old fashioned soothsayer, you know, the ones with a wrinkly old stick and beard…oh how close to the bone that is already.
Now imagine if I was a really good soothsayer of the 21st Century and predicted that Skype would do an Amazon on the wireless market and aggressively enter the space offering free access to their service, via a totally free data connection i.e one where it is by and large free but can also be monetized through add-ons and potentially advertising in calls….freemium.
Now just imagine that in order to use this totally free service properly, that you would only have to have a smartphone that could multi task (pretty much all decent phones after late 2010) or pay a small cost to call your friends who were not available on Skype from your tablet or phone….with the idea that this problem would reduce over time.
We already discussed 5 Potential Mobile Phone Contract Killers in an earlier article.
Now I know there are currently issues with this, and they are the following:
Not as many people, as is desirable for this to work, currently have smartphones, and not everyone can currently get access to a decent data connection that would make a VOIP connection viable, but things are changing, and I have already talked about how I can see Skype really taking a foothold in the global Telecoms market in a much more similar vain as AT&T and o2 operate here in the UK.
The key is data and calls:
Assuming that LTE technology is the future, then it does not take a genius to work out that Skype are in a great position to offer their services to the masses, not on a PC but on your tablet and smartphone, and all they need to do to make this even more attractive is offer an application that runs in the background just like your phone being on, works well, and costs nothing with an LTE data connection that is as easy to access as HSPA+/3G and is either cheap or totally free, then they can monetize with caller ID, adverts, promotions, etc etc.
Freemium is the future:
Skype already have a business model that works on the freemium basis, with their main issues being a certain Gmail competitor and a lack of willingness to adopt the service on smartphones due to connectivity issues. Though a mass of smartphones are already entering the market that only need a good data connection to work as a perfectly good VOIP phone, I would expect this to be a valid option in around 2015, or even earlier, for many people.
With the price of LTE to come down by as much as 60% over the next five years, this seems like a serious option.
VOIP at desktops popular:
I currently use Fring to speak to people via Gmail talk in other countries from my Android device for free while out and about.
Weirdly, on my smartphone, a Samsung S2, using Google’s very own Chat and Gmail (which I think is crap) none offer me VOIP, so I have to use Fring, and even though I love Gmail and Chat on my iMac, both suck big time on the Samsung Galaxy S2.
Is this something to do with Google making sure that networks and device manufacturers keep getting access to paying customers for monthly data and calls?
As an alternative sits nicely under all that technology and it is potentially free to use.
But, what do you think deep down, do you sense that the likes of Verizon and such like could falter under their own weight in the future unless they too can become a real competitor to the likes of Skype?Anthony Munns