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Posts from September 2005

Taps For Advanced IP Pipeline

I got a call yesterday from Paul Kapustka, one of the classier guys in the journalism biz. He was giving me a heads up about the decision by CMP to shutter Advanced IP Pipeline.

My view is that with the purchase of Light Reading CMP likely felt there was too much duplication. Like Jeff, I'm sorry to see it go.


Om On Skype 1.4

Bloatware!

He also digs into the research which Skype used a third party to conduct. I remember taking part in their online survey back in August or early September, as one of the early adopters who also was using the beta client.

My reaction to the new version. Slightly better sound, but the importing of Outlook contacts took forever. 45 minutes for my 1600 names. Why don't they just work with Plaxo and do all this on the backend? I mean why tie up my processor's time, when it can be done so much more easily with someone elses?


Skype Does Some Research

I had a chance to talk to the new CMO @ Skype Saul Klein. He revealed some very interesting facts during our Skype call this morning:

Global IM survey

Conducted by:Lightspeed Research

Sample Size:4,704 from US, Brazil, China, Poland and UK

Collected from: Aug 26th to Sept 6th

>> Skype is used by 25% of users primarily for business, compared to 16% for MSN

>> Skype users are more international than others, 85% have contacts living abroad compared to 51% for AOL users

>> Skype is used once or several times a day by 76% of users, compared to 65% by Yahoo! and 63% by MSN users

>> The usage gap is even larger for making calls, with 35% of Skype users doing this once or several times a day, compared to 29% for Yahoo! and 24% for MSN

>> 72% of Skype users consider call quality to be good to excellent, compared to 68% with Yahoo! and AOL and 63% with MSN

>> Skype’s users are keen to adopt new features, with 73% interested or very interested in adopting call forwarding compared to 59% from Yahoo! and MSN and 49% from AOL

>> Skype’s users are keen to adopt new features, with 79% interested or very interested in receiving calls from landlines compared to 64% from Yahoo!, 65% from MSN and 51% from AOL

Each day Skype is behaving more and more like a consumer brand. Yesterday they began using a PR firm, SparkPR which has very good credentials and a track record of professionalism.

Klein too has an impressive background, and word is he was a Niklas hire, not brought in by Meg @ Ebay.


Skype 1.4 Due Out Soon With New Features and Revenue Tools

Later this week Skype for Windows version 1.4 will come out of beta. Largely it's about two key features. The first is Skype Forward, while the second is the ability to personalize Skype. The two other features are better Skype buttons for web sites and Skype Toolbars for Outlook and Internet Explorer.

Now what the first two mean are obvious. $$$$. Skype needs to start selling minutes in greater frequency and volume. Skype Forward eats up Skype Out minutes. The Personalization options are also for sale in the Skype store.


Packet 8 To Power UK Retail VoIP Play

Packet 8 landed a deal with Dixon's in the UK to market a retail VoIP product called FreeTalk.

This means now both VONAGE and P8 are in the British Isles with a Voice Over IP product. While Vonage is taking the direct market route Packet 8 chose to sell a private label version to a company that put the deal together.

Packet8 also announced they have put a data center in the UK to handle the demand.

On the surface this is a good move for them as it shows some expansionist views. On the other hand with BT dropping prices yesterday for VoIP customers using BT Communicator, the pressure is on in the pricing arena.

Also in the UK the range of options for DSL providers is far greater. One unanticipated issue will be the carrier's handling of what's viewed as great service on one network not be the same on another. This could turn out to be a customer service nightmare for Dixon's.

On the other hand, for Level3 this is a win as well, assuming Packet8 kept them as their network partner in the UK.


Call It The Skype Effect for BT

The Times of London reports that British Telecom is lowering the cost of calls made using its BT Communicator, which was developed in conjunction with Yahoo.

Call the pricing change a result of Skype. Due to its P2P and SkypeOut capabilities calling habits have changed. By reacting to the pressure BT has shown just how much margin used to be in the minutes being used/sold.


EvDO Tests By Om

Seems Om is back in action and out of the house, recovered from his bout of viral something or other that kept him from DEMO, VON and elsewhere.

Seems in his recuperative state he went out and played with various EvDO cards.

I have both the Sierra Wireless and Kyocera cards. Unlike Om, I've gotten almost identical speeds (once Verizon got the network back working in San Diego). I'm suspecting that there is an issue in SF still, with the recognition of cards. I had a problem there a few weeks back where my speeds were at National Access speeds when Broadband Access was already working. My EvDO Samsung i730 indicated that it was EvDO active.

I can tell you that having EvDO on the go is a blessing.