People often look towards America to gain a litmus test of how an industry is progressing. The US folks seem to be pretty good at taking the temperature of an industry or sector and making some assumptions around its likely success and future. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project recently reported that almost one-quarter of Internet-using American adults have on the Internet via a service such as Skype, Vonage or MO-Call. The figure showed sharp increase over the last time Pew polled people on this question though this year was the first time Pew worded the question to offer Skype [sic] as an example of such a service.
What can VMNO take away from this latest comment on the health of VoIP? The first lesson is VoIP is now being defined by the leading and well-known Brands. This is certainly good news if you are one of the well funded VoIP companies spending some advertising dollars on having your Brand as a recognized verb around your technology. The prize is there for those that execute the technology well and spend some money in support of a growing global opportunity.
The second lesson may be that as a global demographic we are now ready to absorb this new way of calling. Over the last couple of years we have all endured a financial crisis that affected us all. We are now interested in the measure of cost/utility and wanting more for less. Alternative calling (VoIP) does this very well.
The third lesson and perhaps the greatest indicator of a moving continuum is the interest around Internet triggered calling, and web based communication generally. Providing services around this new paradigm demonstrates a willingness and competency to support the ‘socialness’ of the Internet. The web has always been social, it is this by design. Communication in 2011 must be interactive if it is to be sought out and used. So what is interactive communication? It is that part of the communication that adds intelligence to the thread. That means that VoIP providers can support social networks and provide these portals with telephony and communication services around their interests and content.
The final lesson just may be that the incumbent mobile network operators, with all their combined financial power are just no match for a world of converging technology and converging competitive landscape where once friendly companions are now aggressive combatants.