75% of all calls over the internet by 2008

Within the next five years, 75% of all telephone calls in the developed world will be made using the internet claims Janus Friis, co-founder of file sharing giants Kazaa.

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By  Andrew Picken Published  November 13, 2003

Within the next five years, 75% of all telephone calls in the developed world will be made using the internet claims Janus Friis, co-founder of file sharing giants Kazaa.

Speaking exclusively to Windows Middle East, Friis is adamant that the IP telephony industry, and his latest venture Skype, will fundamentally change the telecoms industry. A recent IDC report estimated that the IP telephony market would be worth $15.1 billion by 2007.

Skype is a file sharing software that allows you to make a voice call from one PC to another, over the internet, for free. It has attracted over two million downloads since its launch in September and Friis revealed that the Danish firm are currently working on a PC to landline version of the software, due for release next year.

"Since we started Skype, it has become as popular, or more even more popular than Kazaa, as user numbers have grown even more quickly than Kazza's in the early days." claimed Friis. "We believe that in five years time 75 % of all calls in the developed world will be made using internet telephony."

VoIP technology allows voice, data, images and video traffic to travel over the same network at the same time, making it more cost effective than the current voice services offered by the traditional telecoms operators.

Skype has extended VoIP into a self-organised P2P telephony network, where each user automatically helps other users to set up and route calls. This lets Skype to bypass any centralised telephony company or network, allowing them to offer the service for free.

Other internet telephony operators are equally confident with the future of the industry. "We see the proliferation of WiFi as an excellent driver for VoIP as you will be able to take your VoIP-enabled cell phone and roam onto hotspots globally," said Sarah Hofstetter, senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Net2Phone.

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