Feeds

Skype boosts results for exclusive operators

3 UK says 80% of its Skypephone customers are new, and have low churn

Top three mobile application threats

Good news for operators like Verizon Wireless, which have thrown their lot in with Skype rather than fighting the open web tide. The pioneer of cellco-Skype deals, 3 UK, claims the arrangement has brought it a massive boost to earnings.

Research by CSS Insight showed that the benefits of Skype - or rather, the way 3 has marketed the service - have far outweighed the much-feared cannibalization of conventional voice revenues. Nearly 80% of 3 UK's Skype users over the past year are new to the company, and on average, they deliver 20% higher ARPU and 14% lower churn than the rest of 3's base (this might not be as marked at some other cellcos, since 3 tends to focus on prepaid and lower priced user profiles).

Skype's EMEA market development director, Enrico Noseda, told Mobile Today: "Our deal with 3 UK has been extremely successful. There is great satisfaction on both sides. This is evidence that Skype is an opportunity rather than a threat to carriers. Skype users are clearly much more active communicators than non-Skype users."

However, Skype is clearly aware of the value of choosing carriers carefully rather than going for a scattergun approach. Though few operators actually block the service any more, only a handful has offered active support, including an optimized application and free calls over 3G - and so these tend to promote such a rare differentiator aggressively. The first was E-Plus in Germany almost five years ago, and Verizon has been the most high profile. 3 has launched Skype-branded handsets, made by sister company INQ and designed to deliver a smooth VoIP experience, and included Skype in many of its most appealing bundles and propositions.

Noseda is clearly aware of the benefit of making such a difference to a carrier. "I am not sure we would go ahead with different players in one country," he said in the interview.

However, the Skype offering could get slightly less attractive from next year, when there are plans to start charging for Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G, as well as coming under pressure from the looming Google Voice for Android. Critics claim Skype and 3 will be breaking the promise of "free Skype-to-Skype calls forever".

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.