Radio Shack: A Not So BrightPoint For Skype
Joi's Disconnected

2006 What Will It Be Like

It's time for predictions.

1. Vonage--There will be some sort of exit, but not one that will be as loft as some might expect. Someone may buy them for their customer base and blend it into their own VoIP platform.

2. AOL Voice--AOL starts to make moves in the space. Already they have built a platform that is robust, with more under the hood than people realize. With a focused plan they could be on the acquisition trail for customers.

3. Skype--eBay begins to put more of its management style into Skype and the brand starts to take on a different personality. Video becomes a big driver and integration within the eBay platform a bigger effort than anticipated. They also have to fend off the "are they a phone company or not" from a testy FCC and other regulators around the world.

4. AT&T CallVantage--AT&TSBC works with Yahoo to make CallVantage a bigger part of the plan for DSL sales. With the new Yahoo Messenger as the SoftPhone CallVantage takes on a new life. Verizon does the same with Yahoo to get some traction with VoiceWing, but AT&T gets the lions share of the biz.

5. Conferences--More conferences about VoIP arrive on the scene promising everything that the others don't deliver. Unfortunately they end up siphoning money away from the better events.

6. Video becomes a big part of the VoIP universe before splitting into it's own universe. Companies like Counter Path, EyeBall, SightSpeed and the IM players-GYAMS all expand their Video offerings.

Child porn and more virtual molesting grow and the webcam industry works to figure out how to better manage and protect children.

7. The number blogs about VoIP increase and more consumer orientation comes to fruition.

8. The need for more robust audio gets driven by VoIP. Speakers and microphones, advanced handsets and headsets proliferate.

9. 2006 becomes the year of the Voice 2.0 applications really arriving.

10. Voice minute prices keep falling, but free voice lacks QoS so people start paying for better service, especially in the work environment.