Peter Cochrane about Skype

Today at Unbound Spiral I found this report from Peter Cochrane, former CTO and Head of Research of BT. He is a genuine telecom guy – the guys who still try to ignore Skype – and he states that Skype changed the way he communicates:

„For the last few months I have been experimenting with Skype in particular for voice connections when I travel. During the last six weeks, all of my telephone calls – Skype-to-Skype, Skype-to-mobile and Skype-to-fixed line – have been via a headset and my laptop computer. ……..

In short: my mobile phone bill has plummeted from $500 a month to less than $10 a month. The number of times I have had to use my mobile phone in the US during the past two weeks can be counted on the fingers of one hand. For the most part it is people calling me on my mobile that dominates my usage. My outgoing calls are now few and far between. The prevalence of low-cost or free Wi-Fi across the US means I am at most paying for a local telephone call in the destination country.

My evaluation of VoIP is very simple: it either works or it doesn’t – it is strictly binary. It either has a quality of service that far surpasses the telephone network or it is so poor it is unusable. Either way the economic impact for my company and many others is profound. I’ve purchased headsets for all of my children and colleagues and asked them to move to VoIP.

Early this morning in Cupertino, California, I had four conversations back into the UK at zero cost.

Here’s one change I’ve noticed. Because VoIP calls cost nothing, or almost nothing, they become a connection and not a call. I just open up a channel and use it much like an intercom or a casual conference call. And because of the voice quality, there is great intimacy and connection. It seems to re-enable those emotional bits normally thrown away by the restricted bandwidth of the old telephone. All in all VoIP makes communication far more effective than standard phones for all levels of social and business exchange. „

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