Om used to be in investment banking for those that didn’t know, so he really does know how to crunch the numbers which is why the post by Paul Kaptustka on GigaOm is so timely.
In the post he talks about the Vonage WiFi deal with Earthlink and the metrics, churn and all. In my mind the mobile operators need to have a VoIP play or keep conceding VoIP to the upstarts. That won’t go on forever. No way. No how. In my mind, the carriers will eventually embrace Mobile VoIP the same way they will offer cheaper long distance. It’s not an if. It’s a when. So all the hype around alternative long distance and VoIP on your mobile phone becomes really a game of who is best for the mobile operators. As SightSpeed’s CEO Peter Csathy says about their award winning video communications service it’s about being, “built to partner.” It’s about being carrier friendly. It’s about being carrier ready. But alas it’s also about the carriers being ready.
I may be jaded but I see things like MobileStick from BridgePort Networks gaining carrier acceptance. I find Skype finding a way to work a revenue share with the carriers. Services from clients like GrandCentral. iotum, and PhoneGnome which are cloud based, and SIP centric will gather momentum as its clear to me that the mobile operators will embrace what they have to offer long before their fixed line brethren all figure it out, likely prodded along by the cable MSO partnerships before they do it themselves.
The idea of number portability will also have a new meaning. Forget about moving your number from one carrier to another. Number portability will become the new unified messaging/unified communications mantra. You really will be able to take your number with you, easily and simply to whatever device you are using and place and receive calls over IP or Mobile, and nothing will be different.
As that occurs the call for numbers the way GigaOm gang has asked will really become totally relevant.