Read the [[Skype case|/static/files/MBI/Module%205/Skype_case.pdf]]

Questions to consider:
* What is the customer experience of Skype?
* Do you think Skype is a threat to land-line (fixed-line) telephone companies?

VOIP is a great new technology with the following disadvantagesL
* Quality of service: 
* Interoperability
** For VoIP to become common among the users, products from different vendors needed to operate with each others. 
* Security:
* Integration with the PSTN
* Scalability

* Research and development (R&D) activities were based in Tallinn in Estonia with 150 engineers

The Business Model:
* Free calls PC to PC
* Skypein (phone to PC calls)
* Skypeout (PC to phone)
** Rates were much lower than the telecom operators’ fares
* Skype sold accessories that could be used with the software
** Such as cyber phones and PC headsets.
** However, this business provided only a minor contribution to Skype’s revenues, which mainly came from SkypeOut and SkypeIn.
* The main strength of Skype’s business model was that its ''costs were very low.''
** There were no distribution costs, as the product could be downloaded via the web.
** There were no marketing expenses, as its success was based on viral marketing.
** Furthermore, there was no need to  build an infrastructure as it used an already established communication network, the internet.
** The main costs came from the R&D department

* Software-Based Players
** Vonage and Stanaphone
** Vonage was a company which, similarly to Skype, provided telephone services through an existing broadband internet connection\
** Stanaphone was Skype’s other major important competitor. It inspired itself strongly on Skype with its very similar features, such as Stana-In and Stana-Out
* Hardware-Based Players
** Swisscom and Cablecom (Swiss cable operator) were introducing VoIP services.

Strategies and Partnerships
* The Chinese government to contain Skype’s penetration in the Chinese market. In order to protect its revenues, ''China Telecom blocked the access to and added its users’ names on a black list''
* German service provider E-Plus decided to open up to Skype and make a partnership with it, seeing them as a strategic partner
Sat, 06 Nov 2010 14:47:00 GMT
Sat, 06 Nov 2010 14:47:00 GMT