Saturday, September 24, 2005

AOL TotalTalk.....IM to VoIP Continues

OK......another one bites the dust. Errr....jumps on the bandwagon. Ahhhhh...whatever. This is getting just Sooooo confusing. Somebody give me a program.

Here's the latest....AOL recently announced it will soon launch its new TotalTalk VoIP service.

The service debuts October 4 and will be embedded within AOL's new AIM Triton software, which was just recently posted for download.

TotalTalk will have both a PC-to-PC softphone component, as well as a PC to phone service with rates that should be comparable to similar softphone-to-PSTN services such as SkypeOut.

To me, this is just another example of how IM offerings are expanding into full-fledged desktop VoIP. Skype, GoogleTalk, Microsoft (with Teleo) are others.

You know where we're headed don't ya....a VoIP war between the IM's turned VoIPs and router-modem VoIP services such as Vonage, CallVantage, Packet8, etc. Who wins this street fight will depend on 3 keys.....branding, pricing, QoS and convenience.

Now look down the road.

Within 2-3 years it's expected that handset-delivered VoIP will combine with Wi-Fi and Wi-Max networks to become "THE" choice. The softphone providers will need alliances with these OEMs to remain competitive with the standard VoIP services. While maturing as VoIP within IM, these services need to think ahead to the next battleground....the handset.

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