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Business

Why so few Skype WiMAX phones? Here's the answer

Brian Dolan of Fierce Wireless notes that Skype's gm of mobile and hardware devices Gareth O'Loughlin, is wondering just where all the Skype-compatible WiMAX devices are at this year's Mobile World Congress closing out today in Barcelona.Brian makes the point that this lack of Skype WiMax isn't due to the tried-and-true reasoning that carriers view alternative channels to cell as cannibalistic to their traditional business models and reflexively defend these business models.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor

Brian Dolan of Fierce Wireless notes that Skype's gm of mobile and hardware devices Gareth O'Loughlin, is wondering just where all the Skype-compatible WiMAX devices are at this year's Mobile World Congress closing out today in Barcelona.

Brian makes the point that this lack of Skype WiMax isn't due to the tried-and-true reasoning that carriers view alternative channels to cell as cannibalistic to their traditional business models and reflexively defend these business models.

"The prevailing mindset of most carriers, however, has shifted in favor of a more open wireless network that discriminates less when it comes to handsets and applications," Brian writes. :That said, O'Loughlin lamented the lack of WiMAX devices at the show."

Brian does raise Skype's release late last year of a Skypephone with Hutchinson Whampoa's 3G carrier 3. Yet according to both Brian and O'Loughlin, that's somewhat of a baby step.

"What we have shown with 3 is that Skype can partner effectively with an operator," Brian quotes O'Loughlin as saying. "There is no need to maintain the mindset that Skype is a threat to mobile carriers, he added."

While that may be true, my sen se is that North American cell carriers are still motivated by fears that fluidly (as opposed to third-party software workaround) Skype over their handsets will detract from their precious cell minutes.

Good advice for business as well as life:

When you dig in and are stubborn, you are shutting yourself off from those transformative ah-ha moments.

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