Friday, December 10, 2004

Skype ate my smartphone

West Coast serial blogger Andy has a very good post on HTC's interest in porting Skype to the next generation of Microsoft Smartphones. Andy's analysis of the situation is spot-on: while the carriers would continue getting monthly fees for inclusive minutes (which might partly be breakage from the point of view of the user), the potential for this scenario to wipe out termination (a disproptionately profitable revenue line) and roaming revenues is clearly something unpalatable to them. Then again, it's difficult to feel too choked up for the carriers in Europe - they are the only segment of the market which still exerts effective control over call origination. Skype could be carrier pre-selection for the mobile world. Incidentally, French regulator ART has just moments ago announced a 36% reduction in fixed-mobile termination rates over two years, and is also joining in the coordinated pan-European investigation into roaming fees. Clearly more people than me think the cellular industry has had it too good for too long.

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