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21 de març del 2005
Skype, a la recerca de l'or de les comunicacions
El fenomen de la telefonia per Internet, Skype, s’està preparant per expandir el seu menú de serveis de pagament, centrant els seus esforços en evolucionar des del proveïdor gratuït de serveis dins d'un nínxol de mercat, fins a una profitosa empresa que competeixi en tots els aspectes amb els operadors tradicionals.
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(..) 29 million registered users for its free Net phone calling software (..)

(..) launched a paid service called SkypeOut that lets subscribers make calls from the Internet to the traditional phone network. It has signed up 1 million customers (..)

(..) unveiled test versions of two new paid products--voice mail and a service dubbed SkypeIn that lets subscribers obtain ordinary telephone numbers. (..) it will enable Skype subscribers for the first time to receive incoming calls from (..) traditional phone (..)

Finally, Skype is working with equipment makers to develop hardware that will connect conventional phones to its free software and paid services. (..)

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Skype and host of rivals are turning the telecom industry on its head using Internet technology to offer more calling features for less.

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(..) however, Skype needs to get its service off of the Internet and PCs and onto familiar phone equipment via the traditional phone network (..) a key step to making Skype palatable to mainstream users. (..)

Looking forward to payday

(..) The company, (..) with some 155,000 new registered users each day, (..) hearing some footsteps coming up behind. Web giant AOL recently jumped into the VoIP race, (..)

Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom (..) "Our business model relies on providing Skype for free, and then upgrading a fraction of our users to some sort of paid service or product," (..)

SkypeOut's (..) are assessed per-minute usage charges (..)

SkypeIn reverses the equation. Customers pay a flat fee (..) A 12-month subscription costs 30 euros (..)

(..) Skype's voice mail beta is also offered at a flat rate, with 12 months costing 15 euros (..)

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On the cheap

Skype's costs are low because it relies on peer-to-peer network architecture (..) That contrasts with the business plans of the phone companies, which rely on owning the network. (..)

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(..) Zennstrom (..) said the company is working on offering a video-calling feature (..)

"One big growth area in future is on mobile phones," he added. "Mobile phones are changing, becoming more powerful computers (..) including Wi-Fi."

(..) The company has been hit recently with an unusually high number of complaints over billing and credit-card-related errors, (..) Zennstrom said he does not believe customer service costs will create a major drag on margins, thanks in part to availability of online self-help tools.

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"The mass market wants to use telephones," (..) "VoIP has been around for years, but it wasn't until (..) Vonage plugged it into a regular phone that the service started to take off. (..)"
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Per temes
Des del punt de vista de la tecnologia
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Telecomunicacions
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Model de negoci