The Microsoft-Skype deal is just another reminder to the telecommunications industry that times are changing and resistance may be futile. Companies like Skype, Facebook, and Google are making is easier, and cheaper, for customers to communicate with one another, forcing wireless carries to reevaluate the way they traditionally made money.
“We’re moving away from silos of communication to one where everything is combined together,” Brian Higgins, an executive at Verizon Wireless who is developing products and services for the company’s high-speed 4G network. “Eventually, everything migrates to a data channel.”
Over the last four years, voice revenue has declined 7 percent as more competitors have moved into the communications game, and analysts believe carries run the risk of loosing costumers of they remain stagnant to move. “Much of the value in communication now sits above basic connectivity,” said Charles S. Golvin, a telecom analyst with Forrester Research. “Things like IM, video calling like FaceTime, and Web conferencing. These are delivered to consumers by companies like Google, Apple and Cisco – not the carriers.”
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