Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

The product is amazing I have spoken with 2 Ecademy members already from the UK and Faroes, cost nothing.

Kazaa are killing the music business.

Will Skype kill the telco business?

Thomas Power - Chairman - Connecting Business People

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jack ross



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Steve Green


Skype? Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole

Like so many other Internet-based services (Plaxo?) people are being blinded by the undoubted benefits of Skype and not making a balanced judgement. In general all P2P systems are a security nightmare and I see nothing here that's different. Once Skype is widely used it will become a target for hackers just like the other IM products have. And just like them it will have security vulnerabilities that will be exploited. The fact that it is not blocked by firewalls makes it even scarier. The system uses a distributed directory which means that other people have access to your computer. It is absolutely not possible to do this in a secure manner (until Microsoft's Palladium PCs arrive in a few years). I just can't believe that anyone would consider allowing this in their business. It wouldn't be so bad if Kazaa had better credentials, but their main product is designed to facilitate copyright theft (under the guise of 'file sharing') and they distribute spyware. And they rely on 'security by obscurity' i.e. their security model is not open to independent review, and anyone in the industry knows this equates to no security. These are not people to be trusted with the security of your business. If you must use Skype I recommend it goes on a non-networked PC outside your firewall. And don't use the PC for anything else. Steve Green Test Partners Ltd


Kaleem Aziz


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

To call internationally, take a look at as well. Calls from a computer to a telephone (i.e., pc-2-phone). Thanks. Kaleem. "The only asset we have is humanity, the only resource we have is our world and the only strategy we have is truth." -- my Theory of Everything (


Jimi Begbaaji


Skype - Is this the end of a quiet evening catching up on work?

Well, I was sitting here minding my own business when the pc starts ringing. I scrambled around for my head set which was lying discarded after a futile test call to Thomsas! The screen name meant nothing to me and it happened to be a total stranger from Israel. He could hear me, but I couldn't hear him. He did try ringing back thrice. In the end the conversation consisted of me on the talking and he typing. At the end he discovered some message about encrypted communication. My experience of it is mixed. A pleasant surprise to get the call, but also a bit embarrasing. But it never occured to me that I was openly listed in some directory. Nice as it can be to be randomly called, I'd hate to be called by some bored teenager seeking a break from his home-work ... As it was, this guy was an IT Technical writer and quite polite.. Build your own web site or WAP site using KwikBuild Online Web Site Builder


Phil Wolff


Skype tip: clickable phone call.

Skype me. from the html:<a href="call://evanwolf">Skype me</a> If you've Skype installed, then a click will ring me, no lookup, no extra dialing. How about building this into Ecademy? A ring me link by my name on posts? (optional, of course)


Vladimir Dimitroff


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

End of the telcos? Then who will provide broadband for the Skype users? :) I am ignoring for the moment the useless debate whether Skype is any better than other VOIP solutions, or whether it wil 'never, ever penetrate some firewalls' (as one blind believer in firewalls posted). This is not the point! Thomas' rhetoric question is about a strategic direction in telecoms, and the direction is convergence. No single product can be the 'killer' of all other products, but we see increasing overlaps, borrowed and hybrid features: - Mobile phones have e-mail, web access and (some) computing capabilities - Fixed line phones have long been chordless, now they extend this functionality to data: welcome WiFi! - Computers have long had (some) audio communication capabioities, now VOIP is in the mainstream, mostly on the back of Instant Messaging - IM is coming to your mobile - Ah, and I nearly forgot good old TV: not only do you get your phone and broadband from them, but ironically you can even.. watch TV via that broadband :) The court has hurt enough about the killing of Telecoms - next, enter the victim, please! How about BT (hellooo - are you reading this?) providing, bundled with their broadband offer, a VOIP solution including a branded Skype and PC handset? Hit the market before the market has hit you, see the opportunity, not the feared loss of fixed line voice revenue... Just 2p more of those same confused thoughts... Vlado Knowledge: the only product which, once sold, remains with the seller. Give it away!


Julian Guppy


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

my 2p worth No-it isn't, and having been involved with VoIP systems since 1998, I think it (skype) will find its nieche amongst the many offerings and that it will be a success I would also say that it is a well marketed product. Many people have commented that "You may already have this ability" and I think they are right However, the way they have done the packaging up is a good move on their (skypes) part and the word of mouth movement is an excellent forum - the other point I feel is that It can't remain free forever and the business model they have and the services they want to provide will have to be paid for somehow so this may be an intro only and if you really want good peer to peer comms you are going to have to pay somewhere. The telcos must adapt and they are in a position to do so. I would expect a response from the telcos. Julian


Maureen Prowse


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

Looks too good to be true. If it's true, I'll have it. I still think there's plenty of room for Telco's, but maybe some cost advantages casdcading down to non-Skype customers, with increased competition. It won't replace instant messaging for me as I use it when I'm trying to work and like the way it gives me more control over the interruption than a voice call. (Also more private/ business-like when the kids are around). Maureen Prowse Training Inspire, aspire, achieve.


Matthew Simmons


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

If anyone/thing is going to kill the Telcos it will be the Telcos themselves not this product. They are debt laden, typically large and ponderous. They are also very slim on marketing resource and I know for a fact that at least one has stopped any acquisition marketing as its " too difficult to cope with the additional business" and they can't fund the marketing cost nor the CRM resource anyway. The Telcos plight has not been helped by Gordon Brown and while the existing big names will struggle, other leaner more competitive operators will move into niches and the strugglers will be swallowed up in M&A activity. This is not new and has been going on for years since deregulation. If this concept is to over take the Telcos, and the idea is great, the product needs fundamentally repositioning if it to be a genuine mass market product. From a mass market consumer perspective, and I mean here the fooball shirt wearing bloke in the street, they expect telephony to come from the Telco. They might even shop around the other utilities to improve the deal but if Skype, or the others that will inevitably follow want to convince Mr Average, they need to position this product in a different manner. Simply put, to try to explain peer to peer to the mass consumer is too tough and suggesting to them that they might wish to open up their PC to the world I think is a step too far whatever the safeguards and promises. It is a big intellectual step to accept that your PC will be OK in the process. Me, after my personal experience with Kazaa, I won't touch this with the proverbial. Its one of the reasons I needed to rebuild my PC and I have still only recovered about 80% of the stuff I need. They also failed to respond to one email of many that I sent when I got into difficulty with their product. And they say the Telcos CRM is bad .... But then I'm a cynical old Luddite. Great idea - needs better marketing. My 2 cents. Matthew


Lawrence "HotelExpert" Biren


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

Hi Thomas, will download software, get hardware and try it out. Meantime, what about an Ecademist talking to Skype about a special deal on the hardware for Ecademists? Kind regards Lawrence


Laurence Lowne


And from the small print

6. Payment. You acknowledge that certain functions in the Skype Software are only available to paid subscribers after a free trial period of the Skype Software and Services (the "Free Trial Period") ends. After the Free Trial Period ends, you will be presented with the option to subscribe to the Subscription Services. If you do not wish to subscribe, you acknowledge that you can not access functions and services only available to paid subscribers. To subscribe to the Subscription Services you must agree to the terms and conditions of the Subscription Services. I did not find any mention of a FREE TRIAL period elsewhere, so perhaps soemone can explain, please. And true I have not pressed the download button, so perhaps there is something there. They said VoIP would kill the Telcos - I think not. There will always be a place for a Telco - and more importantly there is plenty for everyone. Laurence


David Sim


Skype - Is this the end of Telcos?

It is an excellent product. Audio conferencing is nothing new - both Windows Messenger and Yahoo support it - but the clarity and quality delivered by this together with ease of use is outstanding. We are trialing it as an internal phone system for our company - an area that is easy to control. This product, being tied to a PC will not yet spell the end for telcos but, as Will pointed out, used in conjunction with WiFi (and with WiFi soon being available on the train)... the possibilities are interesting and chunks of telco business could go Skype's way. It would be interesting to have a cost comparison between leasing a switchboard / installing lines and maintaining the bandwidth required to run this in a large company. It is interesting that "Company " does not feature in the contact search - does this suggest they are not targeting the corporate market? Perhaps Julian could add a Skype icon or entry in our profile - dialing another user on demand would be nice! Finally - does anyone know where I can get a handset that plugs into my soundcard in the UK? Telephones are designed the way they are for usability reasons and I don't fancy grabbing a headset every time the phone rings. -- consulting and project management: e-business - open source software - e-procurement