Wednesday, March 5, 2008

VoIP, Vonage and Skype - 3 of my Favorite Things - Ike Elliott Too

I've done plenty of blogging, writing and podcasting about these 3 topics - VoIP, Vonage and Skype - over the years, and sometimes I feel I'm the last one standing pointing to any signs of hope for Vonage.

Well, I may have a kindred spirit in Ike Elliott, whom I've been getting to know better recently. He's turned up in a few of my posts, and his blog, Telecosm - love the name - is really starting to find its voice. Ike has a long history in telecom, and many people associate him with Level 3, but for me, it's been our common focus on these VoIP topics. Oh - and music. We're of the same vintage, and our musical tastes are very similar. Maybe we'll come out with a blog about that some day - now THAT would be fun.

Anyhow, his posts from today and yesterday have dug a little deeper into this territory, and he's put together some nice trend data showing how well everyone is really doing with residential VoIP. "Everyone" is basically 3 parties - the cablecos, Skype and Vonage.

In today's post, Ike shows that the trend for residential VoIP is actually slowing down across the board, which is very interesting. The exception is a big Q4 uptick from Skype, but otherwise, the revenue growth rate is decreasing. He speculates that competition is one cause, and wireless substitution is another. I agree with these, and he also cites Vonage's shaky existence, which is probably giving a black eye to all the remaining pure play VoIP providers. Lots to talk about here, but let's move on.

Yesterday's post has Ike digging into what Skype's numbers really mean, especially around the definition of "registered users". Very interesting reading, and a topic that deserves exploration, for both Skype lovers and nay-sayers. On that note, you should also bookmark Skype Journal, which touches on this topic from time to time.

All good stuff here, and I just want to shine some light on Ike and the good work he's doing. Am sure he and I will find a way to tease these ideas out further another time - maybe here, maybe on his blog, maybe on a podcast. And if you want a bit more, come visit the IP Convergence TV portal, which I am the Editor of. Ike has just written a Guest Opinion article on this topic, and it will be posted in the next day or so.

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