Word of mouth: why Skype is so interesting

My latest piece at The Independent looks at the unbounded growth of Skype, which I think is prime among the voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services.


ef=”http://www.rogerdarlington.co.uk/VoIP.html”>article on voice-over-internet protocol

Interesting too that AOL is going to offer it. As I said, this is a hot area. Skype though has got the [old] Napster effect pushing it along – word of mouth makes people take it up.


  1. It’s interesting to read about you raving about Skype and it’s perfectly understandable bearing in mind that more likely than not you use a PC for the majority of your work and therefore Skype is an accessible VoIP solution.

    But for those that simply require a practical telephone service with all the benefits of VoIP do you think Skype will struggle bearing in mind that you need to be sat at your PC to make calls and you can’t reeive inbound calls?

  2. Well, you can’t receive inbound calls *yet* – I think they’re working on it. And as the article said, you can buy Skype handsets from Firebox.

    But I can’t see free VOIP calls lasting forever. Networks have to be maintained, and that isn’t free. So at some point, there will be a charge either for data transferred, or a flat subscription.

  3. I think convergence will continue apace, though. Phone, mobile phone, VOIP, much of the internet: it’s all communication. So, you won’t necessary do everything via a desktop/laptop computer as we know them nowadays, but the difference between a land line and a mobile phone and VOIP will eventually disappear.

  4. Agreed. But do you think PC-dependent VoIP companies like Skype can survive when other services such as Vonage provide a service that eliminates the use of the PC and can target a broader market?

    N.B. I actually work on the UK PR for Vonage hence my interest in this although this is a genuine debate.

  5. I notice from a story on a few services, including ElectricNews.net (http://www.electricnews.net/news.html?code=9593192), that an Irish company, Talktelekom, is launching a VoIP over WiFi service, complete with WiFi roaming, where your mobile phone will automatically switch to the cheapest network, which is probaably a lot handier than being plugged into your computer – especially if you’re trying to call from a WiFi hotspot.

  6. Good piece you wrote. Skype now offers SkypeIn in which for 30 euros a year gives you a phone number with which people can call you on and which you can answer via the computer.

    The service is in beta and i think only open to those who have paid for and used SkypeOut, the service that allows you to call landline/mobile numbers.

    Rather cool and works well.

    Review at: http://www.journalistic.co.uk/index.php?p=139



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