Today's Economist has a Special Report on Telecoms and the internet, following this weeks purchase by eBay of Skype.
Analysis looks at those networks that are vulnerable to VoIP because of the high percentage of revenue from Voice calls. For pure mobile operators VoIP could be an "enormous problem". Mobile operators face a far greater challenge than fixed-line carriers. Voice accounts for the bulk of their business and they cannot (at least today) offer broadband access as easily as the cable and fixed-line companies. New "third-generation" networks are supposed to make possible new data services to compensate for flat and even declining revenues from voice calls, but consumer adoption has been slow.
Now the problem is that to date the Mobile Networks have not been able to build any data product, SMS and Ringtones were developed by third parties and have been a success despite the networks. Have been using Orange's 3G network for nine months I have to say that I am disappointed by what is available. So far I have only been able to make three video calls and send very few MMS messages. What the new service means is that thanks to bluetooth I have given up my datacard.