Skype, Vodafone Move Forward Together?

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Vodafone’s getting deeper and deeper into this whole Internet thing – the latest reports indicate that the company is exploring options with MSN, Yahoo, and AOL.  It has also displayed several mobile phones designed to work with Skype, and has presented some VoIP technology.

It’s that technology which is really stealing the spotlight.  “Vodafone showed the application, code-named Starfish, in the future zone of its booth at the world’s biggest technology trade show, CeBIT,” according to a Reuters article.  “It has yet to decide whether it will start offering consumers the service,” however, because the service “could eat into its traditional mobile voice telephone business.”

Still, the technology represents an important forward step forward for the relationship between Vodafone and VoIP.  And if the project’s life is extended, it could also impact heavily upon Vonage.  As Ed Oswald of BetaNews reported, “In America, VoIP provider Vonage recently surpassed two million subscribers, and Skype claims to have about 171 million registered users worldwide.”

If nothing else, the exploration of VoIP technology (i.e., consumer-friendly, low-cost stuff) could provide a PR boost – read Jason Lee Miller’s article to find out why Skype might need one.

Yet as the Reuters article points out, what Skype and Vodafone are doing isn’t exactly a new line of thought.  “The Starfish software on the mobile phone is essentially the same Skype software which is used by Vodafone’s much smaller rival 3 . . . which it launched last year in an attempt to find new customers to boost network traffic.”

Skype, Vodafone Move Forward Together?
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