Om Malik has published a prediction that in 2006, voice will be (nearly) free. As the likes of Yahoo, SipPhone, and Sun Rocket battle it out to be the low (or no?) cost leader, metered long distance and local calling will go the way of the dodo. That’s been my view for a long time. Andy echoes with "of course, nothing is free", which is absolutely true. We’re seeing a commoditization of basic voice, which necessitates the introduction of new models — both economic and technology models.
I’ll add a prediction of my own: 2006 will see the failure of multiple "telephony on IP" plays — the companies that simply replicated the PSTN on broadband. To survive in this new market you are going to have do do more than sell a near-zero commodity at a "better" price.