Every now and then I get something right, I have over 150 articles on this site now written over 3 years, so when I get 1 out 150 right, I deserve a bit of a pat on the back.
Telstra are now offering $89.95 calls over VOIP Australia Wide (limited release at first). The reason – VOIP providers are hurting them already and they need to move fast. In the past 6 months revenues from fixed line have dropped $300 million and will continue to drop as consumers find cheaper and better alternatives By moving in relatively quickly Telstra will almost certainly put companies like Engin and Freshtel under severe pressure.
I have to commend Telstra for moving so quickly (well for them anyway) and this should start a price war over the next few years like we have not seen. Expect Optus to move very, very quickly and expect prices to drop even further once Telstra release this Australia-wide.
Telstra now realise that VOIP is going to de-monoplise them as they have no real control over voice calls made over the Internet. I have been saying for some time now that we need a big company to do it right. Consumers want a regular handset, just like they use everyday and you will see them swarm to this.
New arrivals such as Freshtel and Engin (and others) will have to now work together, offer cheaper calls and free calls within each others networks. All this means a great deal for agents across Australia as you are one of the heaviest users of fixed line telephone services in this land.
It will also mean a bevy of new hard phones that can handle both landline and VOIP and I expect Uniden to offer their fixed/voip handsets here within a month.
I will write some more on this subject next week….. just waiting to see the markets reaction!