Hotwire Blog

01 June, 2007

Do you use VoiP? You geek!

It’s official – if you use Skype you’re a geek. A Forrester Research report published earlier this month titled The VoIP Customer Experience: Work In Progress concludes the major VoIP players “have to radically improve the experience” to attract mainstream users.

So far, the big players such as Skype and Google have done very well at attracting the geeks… I mean early adopters (hey, I’m one too). But they have now hit a wall and can’t penetrate beyond the five percent of the population who love to download, wear headsets and don’t mind crackly calls.

“Bit obvious” you say?

I don’t think so. Skype sold last year for $2.6 billion plus stock. Surely this astronomical valuation was for more than its ability to reach the early adopters who are using Skype purely to make free PC-to-PC calls.

And the tech-savvy market is growing isn’t it? Uptake of new technology is increasingly swift and we are all now familiar with gigabytes and Googles, video on demand and megapixel cameras.

So why are the purveyors of VoIP failing to reach the mainstream?

I can’t help but think that the technology breakthroughs that make it are those that make our lives easier, not just cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, money is important, but is so important that we are willing to make calls while tied to our computers.

One of our clients in the VoIP space, Jajah, announced this week that they have received investments from Intel and Deutsche Telekom. While the amounts involved are fairly small, the impact is potentially massive. The big players are embracing VoIP for the first time, giving it the first realistic chance of reaching a mass audience.

This is one geek who can’t wait.


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