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Monday, March 27, 2006

Free VOIP Battles IPods

Free phone services are now competing with electronics giveaways to acquire online leads. Lycos has launched a Skype competitor that gives users a dedicated number and free phone calls to phones from within the U.S. if they sign up for partner offers.

The Lycos service also includes free call forwarding, electronic fax, and an entertainment channel. Telephony is becoming like broadcast TV and radio as a free ad-supported basic service.

Similarly, last week Yahoo updated its Messenger with low-cost VOIP services. With all of these free or nearly free phone services, it's going to be almost impossible for telecommunications companies to make any money from consumer services. Their pot of gold will come from video streaming and IPTV as the line between communications services completely dissolve. Voice is being priced like any other kind of data, and that's not good news for the telecoms.

By John Gartner at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

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