VoIP provider Gizmo5 has created a gateway allowing any SIP aware device (desktop set, mobile phone, softphone) to make and receive calls with Skype users.
The new service from the company formerly known as SIPphone is called OpenSky and certainly enables functionality many have clamored for in recent years.
The gateway requires registration with Gizmo5 (natch) and free calls are limited to 5 minutes, with free calls up to two hours permitted when you pay a $20 annual fee. Once you’re registered however, you can call your Skype buds by dialing firstname.lastname@example.org. Users can even have any SIP call forwarded to their Skype address using my.gizmo5.com.
Gizmo founder Michael Robertson says, “I think the most popular user segment could be businesses not consumers. Whether businesses spend millions on a Cisco Call Manager system or install the free Asterisk based Trixbox they all share one thing in common – they cannot call to the Skype network. Now with OpenSky they can call businesses because they can use our gateway.”
This service could become a popular way to skirt the high international calling rates many service providers charge for calls to certain countries and is an attractive option for bridging the communication gap between people who have, say, a mobile phone or Skype, but not both.
I wonder, though, how many people are really champing at the bit to register for yet another service in order to open up this option.