Money Matters - Simplified

Skype to penetrate business telephony

Skype now wants to gain a strong foothold in the business sector and add to its already rising popularity

Jerusalem, October 22 -- Internet telephony giant Skype is planning to expand its territory by working on providing improved services to the business sector. This was revealed by the company’s Chief Executive Josh Silverman Wednesday.

Talking at the Israel Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, he said, “We are working on how to do this.”

At present, the company is in the process of beta testing Skype for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). This would help in facilitating the integration of Skype on business telephony networks. SIP is basically the primary voice over Internet protocol used in these business telephony networks.

After the product passes all the testing stages, it is expected to be commercially launched in 2010, said Silverman.

Skype high on popularity across the globe
Skype is rising sharply on the popularity charts from the time it was launched six years back. At present, the Internet telephony company has 480 million registered users worldwide.

Users can make free calls to other Skype users for no charges at all. However, the company charges for calls made to traditional phone numbers and for utilization of some added features.

Due to the popularity of Skype, the mobile companies have started to fear losing business. They are panicking that a majority of users will make calls on the Web instead of using their services. Keeping this in mind, most of the mobile carriers have now allowed Skype on their phones.

New rules for transferring of content on the Web
Silverman appreciated the new decision by AT&T to allow Skype to make use of its cellular network. He further commended the efforts of Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Julius Genachowski on putting forth a Net neutrality rule that is intended to make sure that network operators like AT&T treat the flow of Internet content and applications without any bias.

Silverman added that the type of data transferred should not be a consideration with the network operators and said that Internet calls are data.

He explained, “Data is data.” “Your carrier should not determine which data they like and don’t like. It should be up to the customers how to use the data plans they buy from cellular companies.”

Skype and eBay confident about their legal standing
It must be recalled that last month a group comprising of some top Internet financiers in Silicon Valley and Europe had proposed to buy a 65 percent share in Skype from eBay for $1.9 billion.

However, as per a court filing, the founders of Skype have asked a U.S. federal court to thwart all efforts of Index Ventures and one of its partners to take part in the proposed acquisition of the Web phone service.

Elaborating on the matter, Silverman was quoted as saying, “We have stated publicly, the head of eBay has stated, that we are extremely confident in our legal position.”