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Building a Bridge to Skype Island with OpenSkyXX

A few years ago I gave a talk at a tech conference and asked Skype to "tear down the walls" and allow other phone users to communicate with Skype. Yet Skype remained a castle, with its surrounding moat making it hard for others to reach it. Casting metaphor aside, this simply means many businesses and consumers are not experiencing the financial benefit of net calling.


But Gizmo5 has built a bridge to Skype with OpenSky - a gateway to reach Skype users. This means any mobile phone, browser, wifi phone, SIP device, Asterisk user - just about any voice aware device - can now call and IM Skype users.

For the first time businesses using advanced phone systems (from companies like Cisco, Avaya, Asterisk, and Fonality) can directly call Skype users saving millions on calling costs and bypassing per-minute charges (especially for international calls).

Consumers can now reach Skype users from a web browser or any mobile phone. No special data plan or software is required on the phone. All you need is a phone with SMS capability (yes, pretty much every phone on the planet... even the iPhone).

There are many ways to use OpenSky and we've worked hard to insure each will be a high quality call. To experience OpenSky try one of the simple methods below:


  • Call from your web browser by going to: and then enter a Skype address like this: skype_echo123 This will dial Skype's echo line using nothing but a Flash-enabled web browser. Replacing echo123 with any Skype name you wish to call. Watch video.

  • From any mobile phone you can now call Skype - no expensive data plan is required and there's no need to install any software on your phone. It's as simple as sending a text message to the OpenSky number: 1-941-421-9832 with "s echo123" in the body of the message (where echo123 is the Skype name you wish to call). Anything after the Skype name will be sent as a IM message to the Skype user. To use this service you must register at Sending IM is a free service and placing calls requires purchasing OpenSky for only $20 per year. Watch video.

  • If you use any SIP-aware software, like Gizmo5, you can now call a Skype user because OpenSky gives every Skype user a SIP address. Simply place a call like this: (where "echo123" is the Skype name you wish to call). You can test with echo123, but then replace echo123 with the Skype name you wish to call. Watch video about how to call a Skype user from any VOIP software or network. The video shows Gizmo5 but, this scheme will work with any of the hundreds of SIP software programs.

  • If your business or organization has a modern phone system (PBX) then you can now connect directly to any Skype name. We even make it possible to setup a number for that user called an alias so it's easy to dial from a phone keypad. Watch a video of how to setup an alias. (NOTE: You'll probably need your system administrator to allow this calling sequence on your network.)

1-5 minute OpenSky calls are free with the duration determined by the system capacity. For longer calls you can purchase OpenSky for $20 per year and if you'd like to enable OpenSky calling for your entire network or organization please check out our OpenSky page.


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