28 Nov 2006

VoIP Episode 7: What is your Cellular VoIP strategy: Cheap or premium?

It does sound like an outrageous question, doesn't it? Everybody knows VoIP is all about "cheap"... or is it?
Cellular operators who want to introduce VoIP are in two categories. Some do not have a choice, because VoIP is about the only method to carry voice traffic. Verizon Wireless with their EV-DO network is one example. Other operators see the shift towards VoIP as an inevitable mechanism to protect their turf from new emerging technologies which promise "cheap" data access with mobility(!) and roaming(!).

The ones with little ambition see themselves in the future as mere bit pipe providers. Cheap and cheerful VoIP goes well with the rest of the "cheap" user experience, in the same way that my Skype quality depends on the WiFi coverage and DSL speeds.

The ones with a bit more vision and ambition see the inevitable erosion of voice prices coming, so they are trying to position VoIP as a premium service, and that is the thinking behind all the seemingly daft concepts like Guaranteed VoIP Quality of Service. So the differentiator will be the ability to do ubiquitous voice calls with good quality. The additional user experiences wrapped around VoIP such as presence, contact lists, Instant Messaging, smileys, concurrent data ...etc will help formulate a compelling offering for a premium service.

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Anonymous said...

VoIP is also a great money saver. I have been using YapOn, Which provides a mobile VoIP gateway, to make really cheap long distance calls from my cell phone. I also use it on my land line at home. It’s very reliable, hassle fee and convenient. I can call anywhere in the world for pennies, with not extra fees and without having to change provider or rate plan.

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