Do you think Telstra would have called a few meetings over the past few days regarding VOIP? You bet your life they did! For the first time in history we had all major TV news, newspapers, radio all covering the news that Google has entered into FREE telephone calls through their Google Talk software. I have tested this software and it is just so simple to use and the voice quality is superb.
This is just the beginning for Google as they ramp up the software for the mainstream community. Google are famous for releasing products in beta mode and this is no exception. The one thing that will have Telstra nervous is the fact Google has such a massive reach. Telstra users pale into comparison to the Google user base.
Telstra has to make a decision on VOIP – they will of course keep rolling out statements such as “we are currently testing VOIP but the technology is not mainstream”, but this is just another way of saying, “we are making so much money with the status quo, why should be coct ourselves billions of dollars in revenue, when we don’t have any serious competition”.
Well I can say this much, we are paying about 500% more than we should be for local and national calls and when serious competition comes along Telstra are finished as a major telephone company. It may take years or even a decade but they are a dud force. The reason is just about everyone dislikes the company. Telstra will need to make their money from other areas if they are going to be a strong company in the future. Still the network is the key to their riches at the moment, owning the last mile of cable, but with wireless around the corner this monopoly is also finished. It will take broadband speeds of 50 megabytes a second or more through their existing infrastructure within 5 years time or wireless services such as WIMAX will take over and with companies such as Intel pushing WIMAX it will no doubt have an impact. Will new technology come for the copper wires that will do this? Maybe, but I would not hold my breath.
Another problem Telstra will have will be when Vonage hits our shores, they will quickly shore up agreements and build a national network and with their strength/size and marketing power they will also be a threat to Telstra.
So Telstra will continue along there merry way but I have a feeling some big announcements will only come from them when ordinary Australian homes start converting.
This will take a company to produce a simple system and this system must include an ordinary phone handset (preferably wireless) with a simple set up and ease of use.
It simple comes down to who is prepared to take such a step?