Yahoos Dialpad Buy Pushes VOIP Toward Mainstream - Page 2

But how will the purchase of Dialpad affect Yahoos deal with SBC? Again, probably very little, analysts say. Yahoos new purchase may prompt a few changes concerning its four-year deal with SBC (Southwestern Bell Co.), a partnership that has spawned Yahoo-promoted DSL service in parts of the country and has given the Web site play in a traditional phone company. But most analysts say the three services will just create a more holistic picture for Yahoo.

"Yahoo is very committed to that relationship and SBC, [but] were in an increasingly confused area where we can no longer draw these boundaries," Griffin said. "There are pieces of Yahoos voice service with the potential to substitute a piece of SBCs voice calling, but that overlap is not that significant."

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Current Analysis John OKeefe said Yahoos partnerships with SBC and Verizon have been a windfall for the company, so he couldnt imagine that Yahoo making another deal would put that relationship in jeopardy.

"It could cause some rumblings, but honestly I dont think it will because [SBC and Dialpad] offer such different services," OKeefe said. "In fact, it could bring greater exposure to the partnership."

Consumers and VOIP

Even with all of the noise generated by the news, it doesnt necessarily mean that full-fledged Yahoo VOIP service will make the average consumer more comfortable talking over the Internet.

Using Skype as an example, The Yankee Groups Griffin said the concept of PC-to-PC calling has gained a lot of traction, but many people still have not heard of the technology.

"A name like Yahoo that can bring its ease of use will encourage more awareness," she said. "I can see more people using PC-based voice for small segments of their usage."

OKeefe of Current Analysis said consumers will be more willing to adapt to the technology if the price is right, and if consumers really want to use PC calling services as opposed to regular instant messaging.

"I dont think, by any means, that [Yahoo] will be a threat to the traditional phone-line communications," he said. "The overall emphasis [on the VOIP market] has yet to come."

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