Mobile Skype: a threat to fixed-line telephony

With so many mobile phones and plans in the market, it's easy for truly innovative services to get lost in the noise.This is the only reason I can think of to explain why there hasn't been a wholesale rush to mobile carrier 3, which with the launch of its X-Series content and calling bundle, recently put its boot up the collective backsides of the entire mobile industry.

With so many mobile phones and plans in the market, it's easy for truly innovative services to get lost in the noise.

This is the only reason I can think of to explain why there hasn't been a wholesale rush to mobile carrier 3, which with the launch of its X-Series content and calling bundle, recently put its boot up the collective backsides of the entire mobile industry.

The heft behind this boot is the decision by 3 to bundle Skype as one of several services in its X-Series service package.

Now, I wouldn't suggest that Skype on X-Series will kill off conventional mobile services overnight. However, it is an explicit acknowledgement that data services, and voice running over them, will drive continued telecommunications growth.

I can't help but remember how carriers went ballistic when voice over IP first appeared in the late 1990s and tried to have it declared illegal.

Even though VoIP was still a niche technology at that point, the carriers could see right away that the technology, properly executed, would loosen their grip on voice services and throw their comfortable monopolies into tumultuous chaos.

Properly executed, free mobile Skype could have the same effect on Australia's mobile market -- if 3 can get the word out to consumers.

What do you think? Would you switch to Skype if it were available on your mobile? Or are you already using it? What will make Telstra, Optus and Vodafone follow suit? Talkback below or e-mail me at edit@zdnet.com.au.

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