Telcos Finally Responding to Skype: Report

Skype_Phone.jpgBetter late than never, right? GigaOM reports that AT&T, in conjunction with some 10-15 incumbent telecom carriers—British Telecom, Deutsche Telecom and NTT among them—is plotting to launch a Skype competitor, according to a research report issued by ThinkEquity analyst Anton Wahlman.

Wahlman said in the report that the telcos plan to offer a VoIP client that will work on the carrier’s existing 3G data networks (the ones responsible for most of today’s mobile media streaming), and will use a backend platform that will allow folks to make free voice calls to anyone who’s logged into it.

“Much the same way as Skype-to-Skype calls are free, incumbents could use their platform to keep calls from each other’s network free. The plan could help them avoid the termination charges and still make money when the calls go off the network to, say, a rival’s phone service or wireless network. ‘We believe that they will have to use a common client and common software platform in order to make this work,'” Wahlman said.

Still, the carriers are really late with this given that Skype has been around for almost five years.