I am a believer that costs of calls have dropped to zero. Just look at Skype, Gizmo and other services like that which leverage infrastructure that allows people to have telephone like conversations.
I am also a believer that the applications are what we will pay for, and that in a Voice 2.0 world those applications will be where value will be extracted and money made.
To go one step farther, I contend that the old school carriers are in the best position to make money off of the applications, not the startups or upstarts. Why? Because the already own the customer relationship with people who have telephones and really don't care (or know) if the service is PSTN or VoIP or Skype. If you look at the stats more who use voice mail at home likely get it from the phone company, not a third party who may offer more bells and whistles or even a cheaper service. Very few people use a third party caller ID type of service. They pay the phone company. It's when VoIP comes into play that other applications become available and that's where the money in the future will be found.
Candidly, someone building a SIP applications farm that works with PSTN would be a great idea...I'm somewhat surprised that no one has that ready to rock, other than PhoneGnome. Think of it this way. Plant your applications, let the people who want it to be able to sow it into their phone system. All it would require is a bridge into the SS7 network and some back office billing methodology.
As these new apps come along the telco gets more money, and in turn can lower the cost per minute of calls. To me, its a no-brainer.
Why? First it really does lower cost of calling. Second it shows that David Beckemeyer's vision of PhoneGnome and voice applications is being adopted by others. Third Mobivox is agnostic. It doesn't care if your on Skype or PSTN it just knows how to reach you.
It's one thing to run VoIP over WiFi on a cell phone like can be done with GizmoProject and Truphone, but to expect the carriers to sit idle and just watch calls run over data networks on all you can eat data plans is something that I expect to not go very far.
While EQO will likely spur some sales of date packages, the carriers have tended to take a dim view voice running on the data networks.
I've tried other Voice apps on EvDO services from Verizon and Sprint here in the USA and have found that the current versions of EvDO Rev A make it very challenging. Hopefully EQO has found a way around that, but don't expect the carriers to take it laying down.
With a plan to bundle in VoIP looming for Earthlink in their WiFi plays, it looks like the City of Philadelphia is one step closer to being WiFi VoIP ready with the successful testing and rollout happening in Philadelphia.
That's no surprise. Vonage uses the open "Public" internet and has never contended that they do anything to manage the call quality. As more and more people migrate to VoIP, and as business uses VOIP to extend their presence to where their employees are living.
For a long time we've said here that all VoIP isn't created equally. This is one example. It looks like it is becoming the time to really deliver QoS for Vonage or to go home only, and forget the business market once and for all.
I just got the word from the folks at GizmoProject's parent company, SipPhone that they have taken a page out of the books of Mint Telecom and others that let you establish a phone number in one location and have it ring in another. Okay. Not much new about that.
But here's the kicker. It's FREE. That's right. Up to 240 minutes a week. Six hours of calling to someone you call all the time, for free. The only catch. The calls have to terminate on a computer to the GizmoCall flash based client. Of course you can also opt to have those calls forwarded, using Gizmo Out, and pay for that, but a move like this is one more step in the game of reducing the costs of a telephone call to nothing.