Skype is easily the most influential consumer offering that the VoIP world has been able to produce in its history of 13 years. It is easier to see things in retrospect. So let me list the reasons why I think Skype was successful where others, who came before Skype, failed. Skype was successful because:
(1) Skype used a peer-to-peer architecture. This reduced call set up time and the general service downtimes.
(2) Skype licensed GIPSâ€™ codecs which enables higher speech quality
(3) Skype came to market when broadband had taken roots
(4) Prior to founding Skype, the founders were involved in another successful P2P venture called KaZaa. The KaZaa background helped Skype founders spread the word of mouth.
(5) Skype did not experience the type of pricing pressures that previous PC-to-phone service providers had to face seven years ago
These, and other factors which I will be elaborating upon in the upcoming paper, made sure Skype was a bigger hit than the previous softphone based VoIP offerings. Let me now turn over to the stuff relevant to us i.e. what has Skype contributed in VoIP to put it in the top 10 list of companies that established the VoIP industry. Following is the list of contribution according to my understanding:
(1) Skype introduced VoIP to consumers on a large scale. There are less than 300 million users of consumer retail VoIP worldwide including ATA based VoBB users. Out of that number, over 220 million people use Skype
(2) Skype restored the original glory of VoIP i.e. a softphone led paradigm shift.
(3) Voice is bound to become just another application over a multimedia network of the future. The biggest push to voice in that direction â€“ at service level â€“ has come from Skype.
(4) And lastly, Skypeâ€™s mega acquisition was a major leap for VoIP industry. It made VoIP hot again.
Skypeâ€™s selection to the 10 (that established VoIP industry) is an easy one. I cannot think of any other company that has contributed as much as Skype did in the areas that I have identified above. The closest ones that I can think of, are â€¦ actually none!