Especially when you have competitors like Skype - and soon WhatsApp - with very similar offerings for the ‘skype-out’ part of the deal: the bit that actually generates revenue from termination.
So watch out for new angles and approaches. Voxox (full set of IP communications services, both consumer and business) has signed a deal with PC maker Lenovo whereby Voxox software is preinstalled on Lenovo PCs - the U530, Y510, and Flex 15 models. So right out of the Lenovo box customers get low-cost global communication services and features, including calling, texting, faxing, media sharing, instant language translation, voicemail transcription and more.
So what’s the deal? Customers are groomed to start stumping up cash on a regular basis. Each new account starts with a free dollar for calls to switched users (worth up to 100 minutes depending which jurisdiction the user happens to be in). Voxox keeps topping up the account every month (up to a dollar) with the hope of inculcating the Voxox calling habit. When the user goes over the dollar within a month, they can top up and the revenue generation starts. Lenovo gets a cut once the revenue flows in.
This strikes me as quite a hard way to earn a living.
But there’s more. Voxox hopes to sign up more device vendors who can pre-install the software. The proposition to the user is that Voxox will work over a range of devices from the one account. Over time it hopes to build a ‘relationship’ with the customer (where have I heard that before?) which will generate more revenue-building opportunities.