A great Skypestyle story in today's New York Times talks about the cultural, lifestyle and technical benefits of Skype. PR princess Kelly Larabee is widely quoted. The reporter also mentions the Pulver Order and that's not Jeff ordering Thai food for take-out :-)
Consumer VOIP Could Be on Its Way to the Gallows is one reporter's view. I don't think so. VoIP will become transparent. All phone companies will switch to VoIP and just migrate their customers over. Why? It's cheaper to maintain a IP network infrastructure than the legacy circuit switches. The only reason why they don't do it now is the telcos already own (i.e. have paid for, are depreciating) the hardware that's already in place.
I have regularly expressed the opinion that VoIP and VoWiFi is a compliment to cellular companies. Now an analyst firm in the UK says VoWiMax is a threat to them.
I tend to agree since the new companies in the WiMax game will not initially be the same companies. This is all about competition. Eventually the existing global players will acquire the WiMax companies. In some cases they will be the same, but different divisions. This is how cellular began, especially in the USA.
I personally see new players using new and emerging technologies as good for competition, and of benefit to the enterprise and the end user, especially if it drives prices down to commodity pricing levels.
Do the math. A person in a kiosk @ $10.00 per hours for 60 hours a week is $600 a week, plus FICA and benefits (i.e. stock options, health insurance, etc.) Now add in rent, which at Valley Fair isn't cheap, the cost of materials, a DSL line and all of a sudden this is a $5,000 a month or more expense. That means top break even they need to sell almost one account every 90 minutes.