Skype and SIP?

July 26, 2004

in Skype Journal

Skype announced additional deals last week with ITSP’s (Internet Telephony Service Providers). Now it looks like Skype may have uses SIP (Session Initiation Prototcol) to provide the interconnect. If so this is both a big deal and a stark contrast to comments made at the time of VON Canada. I’ve never heard anyone at Skype say good things about SIP, although on that score they are not alone. Now there are also good reasons why Skype may be using SIP and this post (with comments by Skype PR) alludes to the possiblity.

A Skype spokeswoman says Skype was approached by a number of network operators with a view to terminating its commercial traffic, “but only a few could meet our interoperability requirements. We chose those that could provide SIP interoperability and a decent price.”

  • Strategically Skype isn’t large enough to press large ITSP’s into a proprietary interconnect protocol. Concurrently many ITSP’s spooked by Carriers entering the VoIP space have embraced SIP as their new interconnect protocol. An open market is their incentive. Skype too needs an open market. Example
  • Moves like BT’s Communicator may use a SIP interconnect still look pretty proprietary. The question is will consumers get to use the SIP soft client device of choice. MSN and AOL have made some SIP related annouchments recently for corportate rather than consumer applications.
  • SIP is a must do for Skype to work in any future enterprise environment. Interoperability between desktop clients, Sip phone devices, portable PDAs and other mobile handsets will be required. Access to “numbers” remains a must. Few ITSP’s can yet provide broad area code number coverage.
  • There is a numbers game involved. We don’t know how long the contracts are for or whether they are exclusive. SIP would enable more rapid interconnects with other ITSP’s as prices fall.

    The companies working with Skype include Teleglobe, iBasis, Colt, and Level3. as an observation these carriers appear to be more global than US centric in their connenctions.

    “These companies are visionary in recognising that terminations to the legacy public telephone network can be expanded with the advent of Internet telephony and the global proliferation of broadband,” he said. “We will now move quickly and offer SkypeOut calls to landline and mobile phone numbers around the world.” ElectricNews

    Can anyone shed some more light on this?

  • Previous post:

    Next post: