Pretty interesting read over on The Register concerning Skype and its place in the telecommunications industry.
The basic idea is that, if you really think about it, Skype operates very similarly to a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) in that it relies on 3rd-party networks to operate. Keeping this in mind, the irony here is that Skype is like a “parasitic virus that threatens to bring the host to its knees – but which can’t survive without a living host.”
The recent partnership between Skype and UK mobile company 3 is seen by The Register as a relationship where “3 uses Skype’s branding to launch a low-cost tariff that undercuts its rivals, daring them to follow suit. It does so by corralling and taming the VoIP threat – by routing Skype traffic over its own network.”
So since 3 offers near-ubiquitous wireless high-speed data in the UK, it has become a perfect “host” for the Skype organism and by preemptively partnering with Skype, 3 will be able to exercise some control over how Skype is used on its network (and make a little money as well). In essence, Skype has become a feature rather than a standard.
VoIP is Dead. It’s just another feature, now [The Register]