Monday, March 30, 2009

Skype Broadens Its Reach

Skype has already established itself as the popular consumer VoIP service offering an Internet calling service that has more than 400 million users around the world. The service is now reportedly moving into both the corporate and mobile world and potentially covering all the bases.

Earlier this month they announced a beta version of its business-user-oriented Skype for SIP (session initiation protocol), which will run on an enterprise PBX (private branch exchange) systems. Imagine picking up the office phone and using Skype on your office system? It now potentially offers organizations new ways to use the VoIP service and manage calls.

The beta version of Skype for SIP will connect the company's Web site to the PBX system through a click-to-call feature and let users receive and manage inbound calls from Skype users worldwide on SIP-enabled PBX systems. Organisations will also be able to manage Skype calls using their existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voice mail.

How Skype will compete against VoIP offerings from more traditional and experienced service providers is the question but lowered telephony costs could be a major incentive.

On the mobile front we were one of many in the UK who were drawn to service provider ‘3’ on the offer of free Skype service and for the last two years have enjoyed Skype on the move over our Nokia N95.

Earlier this year, Skype announced more versions of its software for more mobiles and mobile operating systems such as Android and Windows and today they have announce support from May for the iPhone, iTouch and a number of Blackberry phones. Apple will limit Skype’s use on the iPhone not allowing calls over the data networks of its carrier partners.

So we are starting to see a marriage of VoIP and mobile and Skype and the office PXB. It will now be interesting to watch the obvious take up and how the service will change how we all pay for services in the future.

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