The latest Skype rumor claims that online auction powerhouse eBay is making a play to acquire the VoIP company for between $2 billion and $5 billion. Rumors about the impending buyout of Skype have been circulating now for months. While I'm a big fan of Skype -- they are a member of the 2005 FierceWireless Fierce 15 -- I'm not certain that the company is worth this much money. I respect Skype greatly. They are true pioneers, and they have proven that average consumers will use VoIP in large numbers. But I have yet to see any evidence that the company deserves this kind of valuation. A deal of this size could inflate the overall VoIP market. It could even threaten the wireless industry and the rest of telecom by spurring another industry bubble.
I also fear that unless Skype can somehow grow its paid services at a faster rate, the company could become the Netscape of VoIP. I wish Skype the best of luck, and I hope they succeed at growing their business. I also hope they don't damage the telecom industry by ushering in a round of over-priced VoIP business deals. - Stephen
PLUS: After months of hard work and preparation, the time has arrived. wVoIP 2005 starts on Tuesday, September 13. In the last few days we have added even more speakers from leading VoIP companies including Skype and Level 3 Communications. This show's agenda is packed full of topics that will help you better understand wireless VoIP, including dual-mode devices, wVoIP security, and how to deliver high-quality wireless VoIP services. Too busy to attend both days? One-day registrations are now available. As an extra attraction, we are hosting an awards ceremony for the 2005 FierceVoIP Fierce 15 at wVoIP on Tuesday. By signing up, you will be among the first to know which emerging VoIP companies made this year's list. Click here to register. We hope to see you in San Jose!