I'm really excited because I managed to place a couple of SIP calls with my Nokia E61. Quality of sound leaves a lot to be desired if the connection to the Internet is not excellent. I was on an 802.11.b network and I suspect the Internet connection was not that great, so I ended up spending more time asking the people I was calling whether they could hear me than actually speaking to them. Still, I find it great that a personal communication device can be used to place long distance calls via the Internet instead of standard cellular networks... Quality will improve. The question is whether cellular operators will reinvent their business models and how the mobile telco industry will be shaped now that it seems possible to get Internet access in extremely remote places.
In the beginning, it was easy: DSL over a landline or on cable. No we have phone over DSL (which can reach us through pervasive Wifi networks), TV on DSL... as a consumer I find it harder and harder to figure out what is best for me because comparing offers is almost impossible. Phone calls pricing not only depend on where you are and where you call, but how you place the call, through what network or operator.ReplyDelete
My feeling is that a big challenge for vendors will be to build comprehensive offers. Or not. Maybe a permanent and pervasive access to a data network will be the only tool gate to pay for: through it we will reach all the sources and destinations we care for.
This tech gig might even be easier to deploy in developing countries...
The question of the challenges facing telco operators, ISPs and alternative telco / VoIP operators is really interesting. One of the things that happen today is that the service providers seems utterly unable to see the world with their customers' eyes. As a consequence their product and service offering is a real mess to get to grips with... Whatever happens, I personally believe tomorrow's winners will have to put the customer at the center of every single thing they do and crucially stop trying to exploit a de facto assymetric information.
Thanks for your interesting (as ever) thoughts.