There are three billion phones on the planet - two billion fixed phones and another billion mobile. The percentage of those utilizing Voice-over-IP technology is so small that it doesn't show up on the radar. In-Stat research estimates that there were a total of 16 million VoIP subscribers in 2005, and will grow to only 55 million in 2009.
Even if you factor in Skype, the numbers are not big enough. But that doesn't mean VoIP is not disruptive. In order to see its true potential, we need to start looking beyond cheap calls. It is the theme for this week's Om & Niall PodSessions, where we discuss the ins-and-outs of marrying voice with applications. The conversation, like anyone's introduction to VoIP, started with Niall telling me about how his father discovered Vonage and wanted to go to Best Buy to check it out. Mr. Kennedy, you see wanted cheap calling to Ireland. Many of us discover VoIP for precisely those reasons. I loved Vonage because it helped me shave of dollars when calling Mom back in India. (She loves to talk!)
This week's podsession is 22 minutes long and is a 10 MB download.
- Skype, Free calling through IM and a new conferencing calling tool by vApps, that turns Skype into a full blown conference call system.
- Integration of Skype with Salesforce and Zimbra . We hope SIP based services are next.
- Tello, which could possibly be able to connect large corporations with their partners directly over the Internet and thus bypassing the PSTN.
- iotum, and is presence management software.
- Why there is a lack of Mac-VoIP apps. Wouldn't it be cool if someone wrote a plugin for Apple Address Book, where a click could route the call over say, Gizmo Project soft-phone.