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OpenSky 2.0 SIP for Skype

I've been a vocal advocate for open standards both in music with my company MP3.com and in VOIP with Gizmo5 because open standards always give consumers more choices and ultimately better value (see: Skype Bad, Gizmo Good). MP3 has triumphed as the open standard in music and VOIP standards got a huge boost this week with two announcements. Gizmo5 launched its SIP for Skype service called OpenSky which lets any SIP device call Skype and receive their Skype calls. Ebay this week trumpeted an upcoming initiative of its own to be called Skype for SIP. These announcements are a huge boost for SIP as the open standard which will let calls move freely from any calling device or network.

OpenSky 2.0 SIP for Skype

Here's a comparison of the 2 SIP for Skype services:

SIP for Skype Solutions
  OpenSky (Gizmo5) SkypeforSIP (ebay)
Receive Skype calls on SIP software and hardware Yes Yes
Place Skype calls to SIP devices Yes Yes
Answer/Call Skype from browser Yes No
Includes free voicemail Yes No
Free trial Up to 5 minute calls to Skype No
Single user cost $20/per year No
50 User Pricing $800/per year $2499 purchase plus annual fee*
Per call PSTN connection fee None 3.9 cents
Availability Now Dec. 2009*
Supported codecs g729, ilbc, pcmu/pcma, gsm, speex, and custom g729
* Estimated

It's great to see Skype inching towards a more interoperable world. Even if this is a vaporware announcement at least their heart is in the right direction. Last year they announced Skype for Asterisk which is still not yet released and it's unclear what the pricing will be. Skype For SIP is similar in that it is not yet available and pricing details are murky but both are steps in the right direction.

For those seeking to link the SIP and Skype calling worlds today OpenSky is affordable and capable. Anyone in the Skype world can call me at michaelGizmo5 and it will ring my SIP world - Gizmo5 desktop software, Nokia e71i, Aastra IP phone.

--MR
michael@michaelrobertson.com



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