PHOENIX, AZ – Skype has announced the beta release of Skype for Asterisk, a commercial application that will allow seamless access between the 378-million user Skype network and the tens of millions of users of the popular open source Asterisk PBX system.
The development, the first that easily and seamlessly interconnects Skype’s proprietary infrastructure with the open source telephony community, has far-reaching implications for the future of IP telephony.
The announcement — made jointly by Stefan Öberg, Skype’s vice president of telecommunications, and Mark Spencer, the principal author of Asterisk and currently CTO of Digium, Inc., Asterisk’s parent company, was made at the Astricon 2008 Open Source Telephony Conference here.
Öberg demonstrated the beta product on stage by making a Skype-to-Asterisk call to Spencer’s personal Asterisk server. According to Öberg, Asterisk-to-Skype calls originating from an Asterisk-attached handset are also possible.
The significance of this development for users of RF.com is potentially very significant as it allows for greatly simplified exandability and the use of Skype’s popular fixed-line calling service, Skype Out on RF.com.
Currently, we run a dedicated Skype client for every concurrent RF.com conversation over Skype. This means that we have to run dedicated banks of Skype servers in order to meet calling demand. Skype for Asterisk eliminates that need by allowing Skype cal termination without the need for a dedicated client.
Skype for Asterisk is currently available in an invitation-only beta program. No general release date nor pricing for the commercial application has been set.