What Will Be The Skype Effect On Telco’s?
Just days after reports that Google and Facebook were interested in partnering with, and possibly buying VoIP company Skype, Microsoft announced that it was buying the company for $8.56 billion in cash. What impact will this acquisition have on telco’s?
In 2010 Skype showed $860 million revenues on which it posted an operating profit of $264 million. However, overall it made a small loss of $7 million, and had long-term debt of $686 million.
This is the second time Skype has been bought out; after being started in 2003, it was purchased by eBay in 2005 for $3.1 billion. eBay then sold the majority of its stake in 2009 to a private investment group for $1.2 billion less than it paid.
I know, we are now all speculating why Microsoft has bought Skype. How they will use and implement it. How they will make ROI on Skype. And why Microsoft did let it’s global famous Messenger slip away.
Wasn’t Messenger already close to Skype? Will Microsoft be able to make Skype a success?
But if I look at the same world from a different point of view: What will be the Skype impact on telecom companies?
We already noticed heavy anti-VoIP measures from Dutch Telecom companies. Market leading Dutch Telco KPN set off alarm, when it announced a plan to start charging customers separate fees for using VoIP, streaming video, and sending instant messages.
But, the question remained: how exactly would it keep mobile data users honest? The answer turns out to be deep packet inspection, which examines network traffic to identify what you’re sending and where it’s going.
It’s been suspected that the secret ingredient in KPN’s service-throttling sauce was DPI, but it was finally confirmed in a presentation to investors recently.
Main questions in my opinion are:
1. Will other Telco’s embrace these anti-VoIP measures? Will these measures be effective?
2. If I use my smart phone to connect to any Wi-Fi point around me, I will be able to Skype or VoIP till I drop, right? How will Telco’s block that behavior?
What About You?
Anyway, we would love to hear your opinion on Microsoft’s Skype acquisition. Or tell us what Telco should or shouldn’t do with VoIP towards their consumers?