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Re: Skype?

On Tuesday 05 July 2005 14:26, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 05, 2005 at 07:24:30AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> > I know this is a bit OT, but can somebody explain to me the allure of
> > Skype when there is a huge SIP community, with soft phones, hard phones,
> > and even the asterisk PBX in Linux?
> Asterisk PBX is for running real phone systems (not VoIP) over T1/E1
> (24/32 voice channels) and analog phone lines.  It does extensions and
> voicemail and all that other good stuff you would want in an office
> phone system for thousands less than nortel and company charge while
> being easier to configure (it would be hard to make things harder to
> configure than a nortel BCM).
> skype and other VoIP systems are for making phone calls over the
> internet to other VoIP users, and on some systems (I believe skype is
> one of them) it also deals with transfering the call to a normal
> telephone and vice versa.  I am pretty sure asterisk also allows for
> VoIP but that is certainly not its main purpose.
> Len Sorensen

Telephony is really as broad a subject as computers, so it is not surprising 
that there exists some confusion!  

The company where I work use Asterisk internally.  It provides a VOIP 
telephone exchange, which can be as simple or as complex as you like.  When 
used in conjunction with suitable hardware, it can be used to connect to a 
"real world" telephone line.  We have two E1 lines  {= 60 B-channels}.  
Asterisk speaks to both of them, and also interfaces with a multi-channel 
modem card which we use for sending FAXes via the ISDN.

If the recipient has a simple analogue telephone or FAX, their local exchange 
deals with the A-to-D and D-to-A conversion.

Asterisk speaks SIP and IAX, which are open protocols; but not Skype.  Skype 
is a closed protocol.  If the Skype company ever goes T.U., then any 
investment you have made in it is instantly worthless -- and you could be 
left without any phone service!  No single entity controls SIP telephony, and 
so there is no chance that this could happen.  Another player would step into 
the breach.

Of course, the long-term answer to this situation would be an outright ban on 
proprietary protocols.  Since it is part of Common Law Property Rights that 
one is automatically privy to any secret embodied in any article that one 
rightfully owns, this prohibition probably exists already but is obviously 
being widely flouted.

delta echo bravo six four at earthshod dot co dot uk

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