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Internet Phone Wars

Skype, the internet phone service that was acquired by eBay in 2005 and has always permitted free calls to other computers, announced recently that it would also allow free calls through the end of the year to phones in the U.S. and Canada from with the U.S. and Canada. Skype claims it made the move to meet growth targets, but some posit that the company, which boasts 100 million registered users, could be attempting to ‘submarine the Vonage IPO.’ Vonage, the ‘broadband phone company,’ is rumored to be on the ropes following its offer of IPO-priced stock and subsequent ‘pushy’ behavior.

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I am in the process of moving back to the USA (thus my absence from O-nerd), and this news has convinced me to not get a land line. I will get a good DSL cable connection or something, and use Skype (which has saved me a lot of money over the past year in Germany) and my cell phone for all calls. I will let my SkypeIn subscription expire, because I can get free incoming calls on the cell phone. Skype rules, although I would not buy eBay stock because I don’t see how it can ever justify its $4B price tag.
Speaking of cell phones, Skype or someone needs to get into the cell phone market. Talk about an industry in need of shaking up. I left the US in Feb. 2002, and returned in Apr. 2006, and cell phones have gotten 1. No better and 2. No cheaper.

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