Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

VOIP!!!, The World is Shrinking! – Still….

by Cruising Editor/The Age on 1 May 2006
skype . .
Gradually, but now faster and faster, the Internet has become the key technology tool in the daily life of millions around the world. Maybe you started by just 'sailing' the internet, then emails became the main tool for both personal and business communication.

Then, last year, Rupert Murdoch, the US-Australian newspaper baron astounded the world by announcing in a landmark speech that print media had to embrace the Internet or die. Now it provides our music and soon, we are told, our TV.

It’s the Telco's who are shivering in their boots and the marine community wandering around the world is one of the beneficiaries.

What is the technology that is causing angst for the Telco's?

The key word is VOIP - Voice over Internet Protocol.

In 2003 two Dutch entrepreneurs, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the creators of the peer to peer Internet music sharing program KaZaA started the revolution which is now rocking the world of telecommunications.

Phone companies have traditionally charged users a large amount, often proportional to the distance, for long distance calls. Skype, the first major VoIP software, allowed people to talk over the Internet for free.

There has been a rush as many home users with broadband capability switched to Skype for placing their calls over the Internet. Skype being secure and encrypted end-to-end, has also attracted large corporations who are beginning to switch from their traditional phone companies for their internal calls.

Now over a hundred million Skype users world-wide are speaking to other Skype users for free. Skype also has paid services allowing users to call traditional telephone numbers (SkypeOut), receive calls from traditional phones (SkypeIn), and receive voicemail messages.

SkypeOut was a great invention for the sailing fraternity. Whether cruising the world or racing in a regatta, the ability to call other Skype users for free anywhere in the world, and to call normal telephones for around 3c a minute was already a boon for the whole community. Now with the introduction of ‘SkypeIn’ you can sail away anywhere and take a Sydney number with you. (I have just tried it, and it works! – no echo, good reception, amazing technology!)

When your friends or family phone your local number, it will phone your computer, anywhere in the world, for the cost of a local call. Of course, you need to be on-line – in an internet café, or connected to wireless internet in the marina – or naturally, connected by some method of broadband or an ADSL line.

The cost of the call for the user is a local call, and the cost for you is - nothing for the calls, just rental of the number - €10 for three months, and €25 for twelve months.

So if your home base is: Hong Kong S.A.R., China, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, Germany, United States of America or Australia, there’s a Skype local number for you. Just go to www.skype.com

Voicemail is attached, so that if you’re sailing away from home, you’ll get all your messages when you get to the next marina or internet café.

If SkypeIn proves as successful as its free internet-only equivalent, could it spell the end of lucrative international call monopolies for existing telcos, or even telcos themselves? No, responds Skype general manager for Asia Geoffrey Prentice.

'It makes great copy to talk about how we're going to take on and destroy the phone companies, but that's not the way it really is,' Mr Prentice said. 'We have a great respect for Telstra and those guys, and they are the ones that bring the broadband infrastructure that allows Skype to be successful.'

Justin Jameson, the Asia Managing director of global telco consultancy Spectrum Strategy, believes Skype's short-term effect on local telcos will be small but expects its medium-term impact to be 'enormous'.

'Ultimately, I expect voice call charges will fall to less than 1 per cent of their current level, with most customers simply paying a one-time monthly charge for broadband and voice. This launch is one more small step towards that,' he said.

But who pays for the maintenance of the telephone lines that have enabled internet connection throughout the world for many years. – or are landlines also headed for extinction?

In October last year, eBay completed its acquisition of Skype for about $2.5 billion USD in cash and stock, plus an additional $1.4 billion USD in performance incentives. Skype has revolutionised the way the Western world communicates, and while it touches almost every individual, it is especially great news of all for sailors.

www.sail-world.com/send_message.cfm!Click_Here!same to write to us about this article
Colligo Marine 660x82Barz Optics - FloatersWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar clinches
Welles had used his throw-out on Thursday, so the only way to assure a win was to stay ahead. 2014 J/24 World Championship - With just a few points between Will Welles Cougar (USA) and Mauricio Santa Cruz Bruschetta (BRA) there was no room for error in the final two races of the 2014 J/24 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport.
Posted on 27 Sep 2014
J/24 World Championship - Will Welles hangs on going into last day
The Race Committee chose to sail inside north of the Newport Bridge for races seven and eight of the 2014 J/24 Worlds. With marginal conditions and diminishing visibility on the ocean course, the Race Committee chose to sail inside north of the Newport Bridge for races seven and eight of the 2014 J/24 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Will Welles’ Cougar (USA) sailed his throw-out in race seven but came back with a solid six in race eight to hold onto the lead with a total score of 31 points.
Posted on 26 Sep 2014
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles holds advantage
After a struggle to set the line square to the shifting wind, the fleet got off two more races at 2014 J/24 World Champ 2014 J/24 World Championship - After a struggle to set the line square to the shifting wind, the fleet got off two more races at the 2014 J/24 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Will Welles’ Cougar (USA) held the lead with a four, four respectively for a total score of 16 points.
Posted on 25 Sep 2014
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles takes lead
Teams battled today in more stable sea conditions on ocean course in wind speeds from 10 to 14 knots out of southwest. 2014 J/24 World Championship - After a morning postponement ashore, the fleet got off two more races at the 2014 J/24 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Will Welles’ Cougar (USA) moved to the lead with a nine, one respectively.
Posted on 24 Sep 2014
J/24 Worlds - Opening day leaves two teams tied on points for lead
Newport, Rhode Island welcomed 70 teams from around the globe with wind and waves on the first of five days 2014 J/24 World Championship - Newport, Rhode Island welcomed 70 teams from around the globe with wind and waves on the first of five days at the 2014 J/24 World Championship. The top of the fleet saw some familiar names but also some fresher faces. Mark Hillman’s Sokokumaru (USA) and Vernon Robert’s Gringa DC (Chile) are tied at five points, with Hillman having the first-place advantage thanks to
Posted on 23 Sep 2014
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
Back in 1979, no one would ever imagine the J/24 class would achieve such enthusiastic support and popularity. Back in 1979, no one would ever imagine the J/24 class would achieve such enthusiastic support and popularity that in its first World Championships in Newport, RI, hosted by Ida Lewis YC and sponsored by Bacardi Rum, that 69 boats would participate in that event.
Posted on 20 Sep 2014
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing
Seventy-one teams from 13 nations are registered to compete in the 2014 J/24 World Championship. The legend lives on 37 years after Rod Johnstone built the first J/24. Seventy-one teams from 13 nations are registered to compete in the 2014 J/24 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.
Posted on 19 Sep 2014
World's tiniest PLB now certified for use
Ocean Signal's rescueME PLB1, the tiniest PLB in the world, has now been certified for use in Europe and the USA The tiniest PLB in the world, introduced to the sailing world in January, has now been fully certified for use throughout Europe and the USA after being awarded relevant COSPAS-SARSAT and product approvals. The product will be available in Australia after being launched later this month.
Posted on 5 Apr 2013
Low DSC connect rate-Sailor irresponsibility or technological failure?
Is the low take-up of available DSC connection to radio because of sailor irresponsibility, or is it more complex? Recently we published a story about how few yachts had their Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipped VHF radio connected to their GPS so that their position would be recorded in an emergency. The tone of the article suggested that the low take-up was an indication of the irresponsibility of sailors, but responses to Sail-World after the article suggest that the situation is more complex than this
Posted on 27 Mar 2011
Sailor's aid or sailor's nightmare - the tides explained
It's not surprising if you don't exactly understand tides - it took a lot of figuring out over the ages As sailors, we all know that tides come twice a day, vary according to the moon, and, depending on where you are sailing are either unimportant, reasonably important, or critically important to a successful completion of your voyage. But why the moon? and if the moon only circles the earth once a day, why are there two tides? Here, Grant Headifen of Nauticed, explains
Posted on 18 Sep 2010