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skype

 
 
Juan G. Castaneda
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      07-29-2004
Is there any future in Skype as a VoIP solution vs. SIP?
 
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Dave Stephen
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      07-29-2004
"Juan G. Castaneda" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> Is there any future in Skype as a VoIP solution vs. SIP?


Yes I think it has great potential in terms of PC to PC and PC to PSTN
because of its use of P2P. Regrettably the company behind it seem immature
coming from the Kazaa stable and have recently started a furore on their
bulletin board by increasing their gateway to PSTN charges without notice
but conveniently introducing new Terms and Conditions again without notice
to their customers.

Being P2P the PC to PC quality is excellent indeed better then PSTN but give
it a go and try it for yourself. There are other similar products out there
on the horizon e.g. Peerio444 and iTalk2U but Skype has stolen a head start
for the meantime.




 
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Mats Karlsson
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      07-29-2004
"Juan G. Castaneda" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> Is there any future in Skype as a VoIP solution vs. SIP?


No, its an propriatary protocoll and they are the only choise of provider!

/Mats


 
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James Body
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      08-16-2004
Other limitations of Skype are:

- Skype is only available in 'softphone' format; dedicated interface
hardware is not available

- To operate Skype, the host computer needs to be powered up
constantly

- Interfacing/interworking with non-Skype VoIP services is not
possible

- Single voice codec (iLBC) supported; no high quality (e.g. G.711)
codec

- PSTN break out only ('Skype Out'); no PSTN break-in ('Skype-In')

- Proprietary code, no third party development allowed; no 'Open
Source' Skype applications

- No support!



If you have a requirement for any of these, go and find yourself a SIP
VoIP solution
 
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Brad Templeton
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      08-17-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
James Body <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Other limitations of Skype are:
>
> - Skype is only available in 'softphone' format; dedicated interface
>hardware is not available


Actually, they have Skype for Pocket PC and have announced plans to
sell it into dedicated devices and other handhelds.
>
> - Interfacing/interworking with non-Skype VoIP services is not
>possible


Actually, they clearly have a SIP gateway, it's how they do their
PSTN termination. They don't let it call SIP addresses because
they (sadly, but correctly) ask, "How many people can you call with
a SIP URL?" At most a few tens of thousands, compared to 400,000 on
Skype and a billion on PSTN. No wonder they put SIP gatewaying low
on their list.

> - Single voice codec (iLBC) supported; no high quality (e.g. G.711)
>codec


You've never used Skype, have you? The one thing people notice about
it first is how it uses GIPS high-frequency codecs, the voice quality
blows G711 and other low frequency codecs out of the water. I think
it only uses iLBC if you have a very poor connection.
>
> - Proprietary code, no third party development allowed; no 'Open
>Source' Skype applications


This is what's interesting. This is true, and we feel it's bad, yet
they are whupping SIP's ass in terms of people knowingly using it.


--
How to fix the DNS system and break up ICANN
http://www.templetons.com/brad/dns/
 
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Wolfgang S. Rupprecht
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      08-17-2004

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Brad Templeton) writes:
> The one thing people notice about it first is how it uses GIPS
> high-frequency codecs, the voice quality blows G711 and other low
> frequency codecs out of the water.


Is this codec available as either open source or open specs so that an
open source compatible version could be written?

As an aside, anyone know why ogg can't be used for the voip data? Is
it a delay issue?

-wolfgang
--
Wolfgang S. Rupprecht http://www.wsrcc.com/wolfgang/
 
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James Body
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      08-17-2004
(E-Mail Removed) (Brad Templeton) wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
> James Body <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >Other limitations of Skype are:
> >
> > - Skype is only available in 'softphone' format; dedicated interface
> >hardware is not available

>
> Actually, they have Skype for Pocket PC and have announced plans to
> sell it into dedicated devices and other handhelds.


Good - we agree then - Skype have SOFTPHONE ONLY, if you want a VoIP
solution that interfaces to a 'proper' telephone or some other
existing telephony hardware, Skype really is not the solution to
choose.


> >
> > - Interfacing/interworking with non-Skype VoIP services is not
> >possible

>
> Actually, they clearly have a SIP gateway, it's how they do their
> PSTN termination. They don't let it call SIP addresses because
> they (sadly, but correctly) ask, "How many people can you call with
> a SIP URL?" At most a few tens of thousands, compared to 400,000 on
> Skype and a billion on PSTN. No wonder they put SIP gatewaying low
> on their list.


Skype has a SIP gateway? I think not!

And please check your figures - Free World Dialup is over 250,000 and
Vonage passed 155,000 on 17 May 2004 - and that is only two of the
many SIP ITSPs available worldwide!



>
> > - Single voice codec (iLBC) supported; no high quality (e.g. G.711)
> >codec

>
> You've never used Skype, have you? The one thing people notice about
> it first is how it uses GIPS high-frequency codecs, the voice quality
> blows G711 and other low frequency codecs out of the water. I think
> it only uses iLBC if you have a very poor connection.


I have been using Skype since it was first released. Skype claim over
19 million downloads of their client - I note that over 20 of these
downloads have been by me!

FYI - GIPS (Global IP Sound) produce one implementation of the iLBC
codec
( See http://www.globalipsound.com/products/iLBCfreeware.php )

Please also note that iLBC uses a sampling rate of 8 kHz, resulting in
an aggregated bit rate after overheads of around 13-16 kbps. Whilst
iLBC is indeed a fine codec (it is used extensively by the Open Source
SIP Developers community), it can not be compared with a 'lossless'
codec such as G.711a/u. Also note that SIP allows even higher quality
'hi-fi' codecs to be employed if required - with SIP you are not tied
to one single codec!

> >
> > - Proprietary code, no third party development allowed; no 'Open
> >Source' Skype applications

>
> This is what's interesting. This is true, and we feel it's bad, yet
> they are whupping SIP's ass in terms of people knowingly using it.


'Whupping' is not a term I would have used here - one thing that Skype
are VERY good at is HYPE - and I guess that the entire VoIP community
are grateful to Niklas Zennstrom for raising public awareness on VoIP,
yet it does not make Skype a better product! And there are limits to
the size of community that the Skype architecture can support - Skype
creaks a bit in its current form - what will it be like if it doubles
or even triples in size?

In the interests of maintaining a balanced debate here, may I direct
readers to a well written (and unbiased) article at The Register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06..._versus_skype/

Ultimately I see voice telephony going the same way as e-mail; with
services becoming so cheap that they are virtually free. Whilst
today, it is easy to sign up for a 'free' Hotmail account, who is
business would want to run a respectable business through such an
account? Similarly, whilst there will be a range of 'free' VoIP
services (both SIP (e.g. FWD) and Skype), I guess that most users will
prefer to pay a little more for a supported service with more
functionality....
 
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Brad Templeton
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      08-17-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Wolfgang S. Rupprecht <(E-Mail Removed) .wsrcc.com> wrote:
>
>(E-Mail Removed) (Brad Templeton) writes:
>> The one thing people notice about it first is how it uses GIPS
>> high-frequency codecs, the voice quality blows G711 and other low
>> frequency codecs out of the water.

>
>Is this codec available as either open source or open specs so that an
>open source compatible version could be written?


The GIPS codecs are proprietary. The ILBC codec is an open standard
and GIPS sells a royalty free version of it, I don't know if there is
a totally free one.
>
>As an aside, anyone know why ogg can't be used for the voip data? Is
>it a delay issue?
>

Ogg is not a voice compression algorithm, it's a data file format.
You probably mean Vorbis or Speex. Speex is designed for the compression
of voice, and indeed there are Speex based codecs but it's still not
very far along. At least not so far enough along that the Skype guys
must have felt they had reasons to pay GIPS for their codecs rather
than use the free Speex ones.

I've been encouraging people to try the Speex ones.

There are some open standards high frequence codecs (G.722) and the
Grandstream firmware now supports them but I have yet to have a call
using them yet.

I believe that GIPS high frequency codecs also include various
tricks for dealing with lost packets and congestion. One would need
to design a good Speex based codec to do that.


Have at it!
--
What's the future of TV and advertising after Tivo?
http://www.templetons.com/brad/tvfuture.html
 
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Brad Templeton
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      08-17-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
James Body <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>(E-Mail Removed) (Brad Templeton) wrote in message
>news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
>Good - we agree then - Skype have SOFTPHONE ONLY, if you want a VoIP
>solution that interfaces to a 'proper' telephone or some other
>existing telephony hardware, Skype really is not the solution to
>choose.


I am not sure what a "proper telephone" is and why a handheld
device would not be usuable as one.

But actually, this is where a lot of SIP folks have it dead wrong.
They think, "Let's make VoIP as much like the regular phone as
we can! Let's demand it work on a 'proper' telephone."

I understand perfectly why they say this. It is the classic
mistake in dealing with a potentially disruptive technology, try
to make it evolutionary instead of revolutionary.

"Almost as good as a regular phone but at least it's harder to
configure" is a failure-destined strategy for VoIP.
>
>Skype has a SIP gateway? I think not!


Yup, or an H.323 one. It's just not available directly. In order
to use iBasis to terminate in the PSTN, which is what I hear they
are using, you would need to use SIP or H.323. So when you use
SkypeOut, at some point the call is being converted to SIP or 323.

>
>And please check your figures - Free World Dialup is over 250,000 and
>Vonage passed 155,000 on 17 May 2004 - and that is only two of the
>many SIP ITSPs available worldwide!


I have checked my figures. FWD has that many registered users, but
only a few thousand are on at any given time. Vonage has reached
many customers, but you can't dial them with an open SIP URL.
(FWD has a gateway into Vonage to make SIP calls, so one hopes at some
point things will oepn up a bit more.)

Skype has many millions of downloaders, and seems to have 400,000
actively on at any given time. It's orders of magnitude bigger
than all the pure SIP internetworks, and it go there in under a year,
compared to years for the SIP groups.

>I have been using Skype since it was first released. Skype claim over
>19 million downloads of their client - I note that over 20 of these
>downloads have been by me!


Ok, so why do you think Skype has poor quality voice codecs? Have
you only used it over a dialup link? Tried g.711 over dialup?
>
>an aggregated bit rate after overheads of around 13-16 kbps. Whilst
>iLBC is indeed a fine codec (it is used extensively by the Open Source
>SIP Developers community), it can not be compared with a 'lossless'
>codec such as G.711a/u. Also note that SIP allows even higher quality
>'hi-fi' codecs to be employed if required - with SIP you are not tied
>to one single codec!


Again, you seem to have not really explored Skype in spite of the
times you have downloaded it.. All the Skype calls
I have done have not used ILBC, they use the GIPS high-frequency
codecs, which 16khz of frequency, and thus near-FM quality.

>'Whupping' is not a term I would have used here - one thing that Skype
>are VERY good at is HYPE - and I guess that the entire VoIP community
>are grateful to Niklas Zennstrom for raising public awareness on VoIP,
>yet it does not make Skype a better product! And there are limits to
>the size of community that the Skype architecture can support - Skype
>creaks a bit in its current form - what will it be like if it doubles
>or even triples in size?


My understanding from talking to their folks is the reverse, that it
should keep scaling fine.

I have done a lot of SIP development, I made big bets on SIP, and
I am a big fan of it. But I know when somebody comes in and does it
better, and I admit it.

Skype is not hype. It is better, a lot better. It's a wakeup call
for the SIP and H.323 communities. Somebody doing it entirely
proprietary can do it better than you and pass you while you are
sleeping.

This is not just me. The people who designed a lot of the SIP
protocols, whom I have spoken to most of personaly, will privately
admit that the SIP world has dropped balls here. That all these things
are in the SIP protocol but so rarely correctly implemented that you
can't use them. Seamless NAT traversal, encryption, high frequency
codecs, presence, easy configuration. It's all there, but it never gets used.
Just boring G.711 calls to a small number of people. That's the
reality of SIP deployment after years of effort.

Skype wakes you up because it delivers easy install, encryption every
time, high quality codecs, near-flawless NAT traversal, presence, chat.
All the time (except on dial-up where good luck doing a SIP call) and
with no effort. To a much larger body of people.


>services (both SIP (e.g. FWD) and Skype), I guess that most users will
>prefer to pay a little more for a supported service with more
>functionality....


One would think, but then why has Skype got more people in under a
year using it than SIP or H.323. (I mean knowingly using it. There
are large numbers of people using SIP or 323 based VOIP without
knowing it, using it as PSTNoIP.) If SIP is to be more than PoIP,
it's already lost to Skype, and the ball is in SIP's court.


--
What's the future of TV and advertising after Tivo?
http://www.templetons.com/brad/tvfuture.html
 
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charlie3
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      08-24-2004
I've been using PC to PC voice services for years. My favorite was
firetalk, never equaled since. These days i use one called
www.paltalk.com . It works fine and has millions of users.

When PC to PC voice first came along i had high hopes of persuading
friends and family to adopt it with no success. I use the service to
join group discussions of various topics.

The VOIP services are a completely different animal. They connect to
the traditional phone system and they work on standalone boxes that
connect to traditional phone equipment like cordless phones. The PC
to PC services do none of this. Skype is a chat service, not a phone
service.
 
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