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Johanne Torres[October 6, 2004]

Our Satellite Connection with Skype

BY JOHANNE TORRES


Everyone here at TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO is extremely excited to be part of Skype's Niklas Zennstrom's presentation via satellite from London (thanks to Polycom) this Wednesday morning in the Gold room of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.




Zennstrom started his discussion by describing his product as a personal mobile communication service. He made some interesting announcements for Skype as the service (involuntarily—kind of) moves into the corporate world. “It all really started when individuals began signing up for the service and using it in the office,” said Zennstrom. “We are not really targeting corporate users, but instead user groups in businesses,” he added.

Zennstrom announced that Skype will be introducing Skype IN—enabling users to select a phone number from PSTN that allows for inbound and outbound call traffic. The company will also be introducing a Web browser-based call record tracking feature and unified billing—grouping multiple user accounts. These new features will allow a caller to dial one Skype number and actively ring multiple skype users—giving the service a PBX hunt group feel.

Skype’s business plan seems to have worked so far. The company practically spends zero money on its business, per se. They do not have a budget for advertising, relying solely on viral marketing—users seem to be happy spreading the word. Zennstrom says his plan has worked so well for Skype, that the service has been downloaded by at least 28 million users. He also noted that since the company launched the SkypeOut calling service in mid-Summer about 200,000 users have signed up for the new service.

Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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