VoIP over WiFi

Tom Evslin writes:

Heres the rub for the cellular industry: when these phones log on in a hotspot, they can become VoIP phones as in free or very cheap calling, as in Skype. Telco have invested their typical borrowed billions in wireless frequency auctions and in so-called 3G services. These investments were made on the premise that wireless prices for voice and some services would stay astronomically high compared to landline and Internet connections. Whoops. You can hear the write-offs and bankruptcies coming!

# WiFi support in mobile phones will wipe out the distinction between the mobile phone and the home phone (about time!). When you are in your house, your phone will be logged into your home WiFi and become your home phone.

# WiFi support in mobile phones will shift the balance of power from the big wireless operators to the cellphone hardware and software makers. Phones will be purchased independently of calling plans just as computers are purchased independent of Internet connectivity arrangements. Coupons for access may be included with phones instead of phones being included with calling plans. Why? Because voice calling will be too cheap to meter and hardware will still cost something.

Rethinking the Books Business

Jeff Jarvis has a number of ideas. Among them:

Let me suggest a model, learning from both Amazon and eBay, where instant gratification costs more but patience pays off (which is also proven by Netflix.com). So:

* Charge the most for immediate delivery, which is enabled because you either stock some number of books in inventory or use more expensive print-on-demand. This is the equivalent of eBays buy it now! and of Amazons overnight shipping. Lets say that costs the reader $25.

* Charge less if the reader is willing to wait depending on demand one to two weeks. Over that time, you collect more orders for the book and can print it in larger batches (especially as print technology improves). I wait two weeks or more to get stuff from Amazon with free shipping. Lets say that costs the reader $20.

* Charge less again if the reader is willing to take the book as a PDF and read it in that mangled, inconvenient form or go to the expense of printing it themselves. Lets say that costs the reader $15.

Mobile Internet Problems

The Register writes:

Despite investment by operators in services such as i-mode and Vodafone Live, 73 per cent of respondents to a new survey said don’t access the net from their mobile. Slow-loading pages (38 per cent) and navigation difficulties (27 per cent) were among the reasons cited why people would rather hook up to the net using a PC rather than a phone. A quarter (25 per cent of sites were unavailable to those with mobile phones.

The survey of 1500 UK consumers, commissioned by hosting firm Hostway, also found that surfing habits varied depending on how people got online. People were content to browse using a PC than when accessing the net from a phone, where they often wanted to find a specific piece of information. Slightly more consumers would rather access maps (49 per cent) than read news and sport (47 per cent) from their phones.