Through the grapevine - glophone and Friendster
In January of this year we published a long report called EuroTelcorama No. 5: Fragmentation is the name of the game, which has gone on to line many birdcages and prop up many uneven table legs around the globe - as any good lengthy piece of brokers' research should (for more on this issue, see http://eurotelcoblog.blogspot.com/2004/07/special-excerpt-from-upcoming-daiwa.html). In EuroTelcorama, one of the observations we made was that the social networking phenomenon might offer a nice environment for alternative forms of communication to take place seamlessly, probably involving IM/VoIP.
Today we expect confirmation of just such a scenario, when Voiceglo and Friendster, which claims 9m registered users worldwide, announce a tie-up. Voiceglo's glophone browser softphone client will take pride of place on Friendster's portal, offering free peer-to-peer communication, and an upgrade path to premium, chargeable services (i.e., PSTN breakout) which will generate real revenue for Voiceglo.
Voiceglo has proven itself to be one of the most resourceful of broadband telephony players, using unorthodox deals such as this and the previously signed deal with eDonkey in its ongoing search for paying customers.