Thursday, October 15, 2009

Skype buying Gizmo5 would finally bring the necessary growth to SIP

Andy Abramson wrote a really nice blog post on "Why The Gizmo Sale to Skype Rumor is Good For The Industry". I couldn't agree any more with him. Andy is just right, Amen to that.

Dear Skype, please buy Gizmo5! Together you can develop a real Peer-to-peer SIP and don't need JoltID anymore.

Andy's blog post sums up the advantages that a SIP based Skype would bring to other VoIP companies like OnSIP, Voxbone, Truphone, ifByPhone, xConnect, Voxygen, Thomas Howe, Voxex, Cloudvox, Twilio, Broadsoft, etc. The list goes on and on.

But I also see an other advantage: I think that such a deal would bring the necessary growth to the SIP world. The number of real SIP users, who can always call each other for free over the internet, hasn't grown as needed. SIP grows much too slow to be a viable alternative to PSTN phone networks, half a billion new users from Skype would mean a big boost.

When I started tinkering with VoIP, more than 3 years ago, I hoped that soon all calls would be free because everyone would switch to SIP. That never happened, I am still the only one of my friends who you can call directly on his SIP address. The model didn't scale as I hoped.

Of course our phone calls became much cheaper because now we all have these flatrates for fixed lines, which are included for free in our broadband contracts. Every one of my pals can call me for free wherever I am. As a VoIP user I take my German phone number always with me, all over the world I can connect it an be reachable as if I was in Berlin. Maybe next time I'll answer your call from Lima, Peru. I can call my friends for free too, because my DSL contract got a free flatrate for fixed lines added although the contract got cheaper.

But all these free calls touch the PSTN and they aren't what I had dreamed of. If Skype steps in and brings half a billion users to the SIP world, it would be a great win. Maybe people would do then what I always try to convince them: Ditch their landline and go VoIP only as I did.