Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Verizon Wireless and Skype Finally Reached a Deal

More good news for consumers from MWC. While Apple finally allows Sling Player app on iPhone, Verizon Wireless announced that Skype will be made available to its customers. Previously, the VOIP solution provider had a hard time convincing mobile carriers in North America to allow its app to appear in app stores or embedded on the phone, now the first truce is made (if you don't count iPhone's support of Skype on Wi-Fi). Which carrier will be the next?

Scanning through the press release, it appears that it is a win-win for both Skype and Verizon Wireless. Skype obviously makes it more readily available to U.S. mobile users, and revenues for international calls will go to Skype. Verizon also protects its position by restricting Skype use on its network, not over Wi-Fi, and any calls to a domestic number will be counted into the user’s voice minute quota. One question that I do not get an answer is about video calls. Will Verizon permit that and what will be the impact on its network?

Looking back, the issue over Skype on mobile handsets is a typical example of carriers’ cautious stance on protecting their walled garden. Eventually, the benefits of supporting such a popular application trump their fear. After all, consumer use of voice minute is losing and will continue to lose its relevance to mobile carriers, as data usage, along with related revenue models, is the new center of gravity for carriers.

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