Telecoms

Skype and SIP

Many businesses are now using VOIP SIP connections to deliver IP telephony to user desktops or IP phones. However, until recently the popular low-cost Skype VOIP service hasn’t been compatible with SIP telephony, ?without using third-party tools like those from 3CX.

Currently in beta, Skype’s own SIP gateway service can be managed over the Web, and links IP-based PBXs to Skype for in-bound calls from the Skype network, as well as using Skype as an optional route for out-going calls that can be included in your clients’ least-cost routing tables. There’s a big difference between Skype’s own offering and the third-party tools, as it means you don’t need additional software, and your clients can use their existing Skype credit and the Skype Business Control Panel to manage their connections.

You will need to use a certified SIP PBX with the service, and Skype has recently certified several SMB PBXs for use with their service. These include AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway, Grandstream GXE502x IP PBX, Grandstream GXW4xxx Analog Gateway, and VoSKY SSG. Skype’s specifications for the service are quite strict, so not every IP PBX will get certified. You’ll be able to connect for up to 300 SIP channels.

Skype’s SIP integration allows your clients to use Skype Click-to-Call buttons on their Web sites, reducing the cost of acquiring customers – or of deploying call centres. It’ll also reduce costs for mobile workers, who will be able to use Skype to call the office from anywhere in the world. You can tie business account names and numbers to a Skype SIP profile, and map PBX caller IDs to outgoing calls, again using the Business Control Panel.


 
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tools If you're trying to solve connectivity problems at a customer site, you can ask a colleague back at your office to use ping and traceroute to see how the network appears to the outside world; or you can use the tools at http://www.heise-online.co.uk/networks/nettools/ to do it yourself. There are tools for looking up Mac addresses and calculating subnet masks too. If you need a more detailed trace, http://w3dt.net/tools/pathping has a pathping tool.
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