Thursday, May 20, 2004

Daiwa EuroTelcoblog No. 42, Thursday 20th May, 2004 - SkypeOut = breakout to the PSTN

One of our sources in the field has reported that at the VON Canada show on Tuesday, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom publicly announced the launch of SkypeOut, a service which allows Skype users to place calls to the PSTN. We heard about this concept from the company some time back, and have received a test call using the solution, which sounded indistinguishable from a normal PSTN call. There doesn't seem to have been much reporting of this yet as far as we can see besides this article from the Mercury News (, but it might serve as a wakeup call to some within the industry who have been dismissive of the service as a closed community (and of closed VoIP systems generally). Details are sketchy at present, but our original impression was that the service would involve a pre-paid system, and we expect this may still be the case. Apparently Skype has signed agreements with two as-yet unnamed telco partners to begin terminating on the PSTN from this summer, and there is also reportedly a subscription service in the works which will allow users to have a geographical number and to receive incoming calls from the PSTN. More as the story emerges.

No comments: