Operators start to change tune on VoIP

Staff writer
CommunciAsia Show Daily
Show Daily: What have been the highlights this year for Skype?
Josh Silverman: Skype is one of the fastest growing six-year-olds in history.
With over half a billion users worldwide, Skype now accounts for 12% of the world’s international calling minutes.
 
We also have a proven business model with growing revenues and three-year track record of profitability. We exited 2009 with $716 million, which is 30% annualized growth over 2008.
 
This year, in line with our vision to enable ubiquitous communications, we rolled out Skype on HDTVs in partnership with Panasonic, LG and Samsung.
 
We’ve made good progress in mobile with Skype available on major OS platforms today. We’ve recently announced 3G calling on the iPhone and made available Skype video calling on the mobile platform starting with the Nokia N900.
 
While we continue to invest in core, free services to provide our users with an even better experience, Skype users are also telling us they want more. And they’ve told us they are willing to pay for it.
 
We launched new monthly subscriptions that offer great flexibility for less, expanding calling destinations from 40 to 170.
 
Operators have started moving away from blocking your service and are now cooperating with you. How have you evolved the way you work with mobile operators?
We are pleased with the success of our relationship with 3 in the UK and most recently Verizon Wireless. More carriers are starting to recognize the value that a partnership with Skype can bring. Data from 3 show how apps like Skype can be a valuable acquisition and differentiation tool as well as a way to improve loyalty.
 
In addition, an independent survey by CCS Insight showed that Skype users not only generated 20% higher revenue margins but also showed a lower churn rate than other customers.
 
On the demand side of things, more than 80% of Skype users say they would like to be able to access Skype on their mobile. We believe that valuable wireless  internet applications, like mobile VoIP, will drive mobile internet adoption and promote the uptake of wireless carriers’ internet data plans. More users will likely connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years.
 
Open mobile devices and networks are the future of communications. Skype sees a future that is more open and connected, to the great benefit of consumers.
 

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