Monday, February 13, 2006

Nokia dives into Internet telephony

Nokia has thrown their weight behind Internet telephony in a move that could herald the beginning of the shift towards VOIP on mobile devices. If this proves popular mobile operators could see their voice revenues start to decline as has already happened in the fixed line world.

This could also force mobile operators to accellerate their data services - which is sorely needed.

Jorma Ollila, CEO of Nokia, unveiled their first mass market dual-mode handset, the N6136, which will work on both an operator's mobile network and switch to a fixed-line broadband connection when it is within range of a Wi-fi hotspot.

Nice move Nokia. The quicker the sleepy mobile operator universe recognizes that their voice revenues are truly under threat the sooner they'll get more serious about delivering data services that users actually want to use.

They need data services that are easy to use, cheap, sometimes free and often supported by ad based revenues rather than overly expensive mobile phone bills. And if the mobile operators do not crack it soon - others will!

And mobile operators would look really stupid if they saw both their voice revenues spiral downwards thanks to VOIP (which will happen) and data revenues fail to take off thanks to a whole new breed of device competition.

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