Well, it has been nearly six months since the announcement of Skype For Asterisk at AstriCon, so it is high time for an update. So far we’ve been through several rounds of code with a very small pilot group. The results are encouraging – since that initial demo call on stage at AstriCon, we’ve logged tens of thousands of hours of Skype-To-Asterisk communication. We’ve also learned a lot about the art of connecting Asterisk with the Skype global network. We continue to see a great deal of interest in this product (over 3,000 applications and counting) and we appreciate the patience of those waiting to test and ultimately consider purchasing it. Hang in there, please!
For those of you who aren’t already in the know, Skype For Asterisk (SFA) is an add-on channel driver that integrates Skype calling with Asterisk-based telephony systems. With SFA, businesses can build a presence on the Skype network, allowing customers to call in for free using Skype. SFA also gives users business users access to low rates for inbound and outbound calling using SkypeIn and SkypeOut.
We receive many questions about what have Skype and Digium been doing since the announcement. The first step was to deploy the initial round of beta code for testing with a small group. That is now complete, and just this week we have opened up the testing to a second, larger group of testers. Once round two is complete the goal is to release a public beta and then the finished product. Beta feedback has been extremely positive so far and we have no doubt SFA will live up to its AstriCon hype!
The SFA product will be the only solution that integrates Asterisk directly with Skype. This is not a “proxy” solution and the call quality will be superior to anything else on the market. Customers will have the ability to make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within Asterisk phone systems, using existing hardware and existing Asterisk configurations: Skype calls become just another Asterisk call.
Some of the features that will be supported in the market release are:
1. SkypeIn: Receive calls from the public telephone network using standard phone numbers
2. SkypeOut: Make calls to landline and mobile numbers at incredibly low rates
3. Standard phone features: Incoming/outgoing digits (DTMF), Caller ID
4. Smart call routing based on called Skype Name, Caller ID, country of the caller, language they have chosen in their Skype client and etc.
5. Retrieve Skype credit balance information
6. Store and call PSTN and Skype contacts
7. Retrieve and set Skype user presence information
8. Support for G.711 and G.729 voice codecs
9. Each Skype channel license includes a Digium G.729 codec license
Skype and Digium are working hard to deliver a first class solution that will allow businesses to save money, which is particularly important during the current economic times. We are striving to create a feature rich, stable solution with the best voice quality on the market today.
We are confident that this goal will be reached in the very near future. Please stay tuned to this blog for more updates and keep an eye out for the announcement of the public beta.
Want to learn more about Skype for Asterisk? Continue reading the next blog post.