"Much the same way as Skype-to-Skype calls are free, incumbents could use their platform to keep calls from each other’s network free. The plan could help them avoid the termination charges and still make money when the calls go off the network to, say, a rival’s phone service or wireless network. “We believe that they will have to use a common client and common software platform in order to make this work,” Wahlman said."
If this is true AND Telecom are involved then this could transform international calling.
Who really cares about Skype? It gives VoIP such a bad name!
As for a "rival for Skype" I think you'll find it's nothing more than the VoIP peering exchanges such as XConnect that our very own Dr Paul Reyolds is on the board of. This allows providers who have moved to NGN VoIP networks to interconnect traffic directly bypassing my traditional wholesalers that resell these services.