SIP and Skype, will it ever be a happy union?

Graham Francis : The SIP School
Graham Francis
| The SIP Blog is just that; with opinion and analysis on all things SIP in the world of VoIP

SIP and Skype, will it ever be a happy union?

So in one corner we have Skype, use it for free to call anyone in the world as long as they also have Skype.  A great product, great features and it just works!  In the other corner we have SIP.  SIP is pretty much taking over the world of 'business telecoms' with most manufacturers' kit being supplied with a SIP stack inside.  Along with hundreds of providers of SIP trunking services SIP is really starting to make way headway though there is a lot of room left for growth.  I'm expecting 2009 to be a big year for SIP trunking as people look for ways to save money.

Now as Skype uses a 'version' of Jabber for its protocol there obviously exists these 'two worlds' of VoIP and it's an ideal (or dream, if you like) that they both play nice with each other.  This means that there are plenty of people and companies out there trying to work out how to do this.  On the mobile side of things, check out Fring which allows you to use one device to manage SIP, MSN and Skype accounts as well as a few more.  Not quite 'integration' but nice anyway.  Also, Asterisk are looking for Beta testers to help in the development of their 'Asterisk to Skype' product - click here to apply.  And you really do have to check out Opensky from the people at Gizmo5.  We'll be testing this soon and will report back on our findings but it looks pretty simple and with full details posted to get you started it could be a winner and the simplest way (at the moment) to dial a Skype device using a SIP account.

More for you.... NCH software has a great product that allow companies to make Skype to SIP and SIP to Skype calls easily and why not check out the SIPtoSIS gateway product at SipToSis

So it seems like there are a lot of products becoming available which will hopefully pave the way for PBX manufacturers to build this kind of gateway functionality into their systems - It would be interesting to see if any are brave enough (apart from Digium/Asterisk) to do this.

And don't forget to check out Tom Keatings blog entry regarding a SIP/Skype phone on the way later this year, click here for the entry.   Oh, how nice it would be to have a simple contacts list that when hitting a name to call, the phone can happily switch between stacks and get on with it, possible choosing the best / cheapest option as well if the contact has both a SIP and Skype account.

So will SIP and Skype ever be a happy union?  Maybe, maybe not - but it shouldn't stop them from at least being good neighbors.

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