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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nokia's handset for VoIP - are they changing the rules of the mobile game?

Just last week, I wrote about the growth potential of VoIP and that the numbers are developing rapidly.

Nokia heard the call (no, didn't they?) - and now comes up with a handset that enable users to make calls over the internet. So they are not the first one - a British company called DSG International started selling internet phone call starter kits at its Dixons, Currys, The Link and PC World stores, but it is a significant move.

Nokia has apparently realised the potential that an ongoing move towards one mobile set doing everything for the user presents. Yahoo is in the market, Google makes its first moves, Microsoft tries hard and then, don't forget the main player, such as Skype.

Combine this with the company's position in huge mobile markets, such as China and increasingly India, and the continuous trend in the growth of the Internet and you see, how important this can be. They found out earlier that users migrate from fixed lines to mobile phones and might have made the interpretation that the move will continue and involve the Internet as well.

What is the threat to other companies? Surely, I am awaiting the reaction of Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. However, it also presents a threat to other companies mentioned, such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, which want to make a mark in the Internet and the mobile business, but also to local operators. Is it possible that Nokia is soon being identified as local ISP by the subscriber? Will this threaten their relation to local telecommunication companies?

(By Asia Business Consulting)