Yesterday I coined the phrase "Relationship Continuity Tools" when talking with SightSpeed CEO Peter Csathy and uber analyst and industry watcher Gary Arlen at CES. I then ran it by Skype Journal's Jim Courtney and Phil Wolff. All like the idea as the descriptor for what services and applications like SightSpeed enables. Basically, they allow people who already know each other to stay in better and higher levels of contact by providing a face to face experience without the travel. As our relationships expand manyfold and where borders are crossed by bits of data, and not by our bodies, these Relationship Continuity Tools will play significantly greater roles in how we communicate and manage our relationships, both professional and personal.
Hottest rumor at CES--I can unlock my 3 SkypePhone that I use in the UK and pop in a SIM from AT&T here in the USA and make calls to Skype users. Now the question is do I get hit with minutes or do I need a data plan? Is this simply iSkoot on the phone doing the call set up and tear down?
I also heard though that you need access to the 1900 megahertz band, which is not as widely deployed in the USA as it is elsewhere..still if it works and doesn't burn up minutes wouldn't that be very disruptive? A source close to Skype tells me their phone is unlocked and working on AT&T here in the USA...WOW!!! The other observation came from a close friend in the mobile phone world who identified the interface on the 3 Skypephone as the Adobe Interface that the software giant has been shopping around. The idea is to provide a standard interface that makes devices easily swapped in and out of like handbags and shoes......
The Big Get Bigger
Comcast is now the fourth largest telco in the USA. While immediately most people will think they are selling pure VoIP, they're not doing that in every market just yet. This shows the marketing power of cable TV and a local presence. They indicate they are going after the business market next with voice and have rolled out three new applications. Expect to see the other cable companies follow suit.
We Told You So
Infoworld call Video Conferencing the next big thing. This is all tied to more bandwidth becoming available in more places.
Is It Or Isn't It?
Raketu has debuted an application for the Blackberry Messenger line that uses VoIP in the middle to reduce costs for international calls. They are calling their app a Mobile VoIP app, but I think its time we define what mobile VoIP is and isn't. Basically many of these services are callback services. To me, unless it's call through, it's not really Mobile VoIP, just VoIP on a Mobile....big difference.