fbpx Skip to content

Vanity Fair Profiles Skype

Here are few excerpts from Brett Forrest’s Vanity Fair feature in the September issue on Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis and why their voice over internet protocol service’s disruptive technology could presents major challenges to telephone companies. If you like poetic prose, drama and narrative, read the entire story, but if you’re only interested in learning about what Skype is, and why it matters, here are the real gems…

On the size and growth of Skype’s users:

With 150,000 downloads per day, 140 million total downloads, and 44 million registered users in all the countries in the world—after only two years in business—Skype stands as one of the fastest-growing Internet companies ever, volume-wise, on a quicker pace even than Kazaa.

Why ma bell should be scared:

Traditional phone companies take a momentary cash hit when they add a new customer, which includes establishing a billing account and sending a technician to the house. Not only does it cost Skype less than a cent to add someone to the roll, but once that user logs on, the extra computer only makes the existing P2P network more powerful. On top of that, it is in the best interests of each new user to persuade friends to join up, thus perpetuating the cycle. The whole thing scales to about infinity.

When will Skype usage really take off:

Wi-Fi represents the great enabler, which will take Skype off the laptop and place it onto the cell phone, where the world’s billion and a half mobile-phone subscribers will be more apt to use it. To listen to the futurists, all cell phones will carry broadband capability, and homes and town centers will be equipped with Wi-Fi points throughout. In this way, you will be able to use an application like Skype via your cell phone no matter where you are, as though navigating one giant set of monkey bars. Many municipal governments are now considering subsidizing the construction of citywide Wi-Fi grids, ultimately leaving cities, not individuals, to pay for connection fees. Philadelphia, for one, has already begun building its own wireless network. And Wi-Fi, they tell us, will soon give way to something called WiMAX, which can transmit a signal as far away as 30 miles.

PR Tech Wednesdays

Strategic communicators share insights on where we the industry every Wednesday from 12-1pm Pacific Time

Paid Media on Social and Mobile with Greg Johns [PODCAST]

In this episode of the FIR B2B Podcast, Paul Gillin and I discuss the critical role online…

Read More

B2B Content Marketing Strategy with Mike Moran [PODCAST]

How do you conduct B2B content marketing when your competitors are already way ahead of you? When…

Read More

Inside The SAP Global Brand Advocacy Program [PODCAST]

In this episode of For Immediate Release B2B, Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman interview SAP Head of…

Read More

Insights and Take-Aways from WordCamp LA

WordCamp Los Angeles is held at Loyola Marymount University because the college and open source software share…

Read More