A Skype in Microsoft’s clothing

Microsoft today announced that it is transitioning over 100 million of Windows Live Messenger users to Skype. It is the latest sign of Microsoft-ization of Skype. The race to integration is having some unintended consequences — including declining quality of voice calls.

iPod touch as a phone sounds great, unless you need 911

Thinking of dumping your phone for an iPod touch with the FreedomPop WiMAX sleeve? Sounds like a good plan unless you happen to encounter something unplanned: An emergency. The device doesn’t support 911 calling and the company hasn’t yet figured out an alternative solution.

With 90M users, Viber adds group messaging

Viber, the hot VoIP and messaging app, has just hit 90 million users, adding 20 million of them in the last two months. Now, it’s adding group messaging and an HD Voice engine, which should just encourage users to send more messages and make more calls.

KakaoTalk fights the Net Neutrality fight in Korea

KakaoTalk, a messaging and VoIP app, has been growing at a breakneck pace with 38 million registered accounts in Korea, its home market. In response, the leading carriers have worked to make life difficult for KakaoTalk and similar apps, blocking and throttling service for these apps.

Want Skype on your mobile phone? Swedes will have to pay

Swedish operator TeliaSonera won’t ban Skype’s voice service on handsets using its network but it will charge customers for it. The operator is piloting plans that will cost customers extra for using an over-the-top voice service. Ring ring! It’s network neutrality calling.

Rebtel expands the VoIP calling assault with iPad app

Rebtel, which calls itself the biggest mobile VoIP company after Skype, is expanding its emphasis on mobile with the launch of its first iPad app. The company is looking to ride the growth of tablets and get even more people on to its cost calling service.

Telia holds Skype hostage, may block VoIP in Sweden

Skype may be blocked for use by a wireless provider in the very country one of Skype’s founders, Niklas Zennström, is from. Sweden’s Telia is reportedly considering a block on Skype’s mobile video and VoIP services later this year unless customers pay an additional usage charge.

Should mobile operators embrace over-the-top VoIP?

Voice-over-Wi-Fi pioneer Kineto Wireless is trying to convince operators that if they can’t beat the over-the-top VoIP challengers, they might as well join them. Kineto is selling VoIP software to operators that would allow them to bypass their own voice networks and offer cheap VoIP calling.

VoiP market growing as Rebtel crosses 15M users

Mobile VoIP provider Rebtel crossed key milestones on Friday, indicating that the VoIP market is growing. Rebtel, which offers low-cost and free calls over 3G and Wi-Fi, cracked the 15 million user mark and claims its average revenue per user is three times greater than Skype’s.

ShoreTel picks up M5 Networks for $146.3M

Sunnyvale-based IP phone service provider ShoreTel purchased M5 networks for $146.3 million. The deal is made up $84 million in cash and 9.5 million shares of ShoreTel stock. M5 will be operated as a ShoreTel business unit and will be led by M5 CEO Dan Hoffman.

A veteran & key Skype executive leaves. Quietly!

Skype, which is now part of Microsoft has lost one of its key executives. Jonathan Christensen has left the company and has not disclosed his plans on what he will do next. Christensen till recently the vice president of emerging opportunities at Skype .

Gogii joins the Wi-Fi calling pioneers with new app

Gogii, the maker of popular messaging app TextPlus, is launching a service called TextPlus Free Calls that enables a host of devices, even Wi-Fi-only devices, to make and receive phone calls for free or very cheaply. Free Calls joins a growing number of IP-based communications competitors.

AT&T launches VoIP app for international calls

AT&T is launching a new mobile app that allows its smartphone users to make international calls via VoIP. The new AT&T Call International will allow users to make calls overseas at cheap rates like 4 cents a minute to China, Germany, France and the UK.

Microsoft earnings: All eyes on Skype

Just how will Microsoft make money off Skype? It’s too early to say since the deal closed just last week, said Microsoft CFO Peter Klein. But he gave some broad-brush hints about plans for the VoIP fan favorite on Microsoft’s first-quarter earnings call Thursday night.

Why the Skype-Facebook deal is awesome for Facebook

Skype, the Internet telephony company that is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft (s MSFT) has one ambition — get to a billion users – even if it risks the company losing control over its customers. And that just is fine for Facebook.

Skype CEO, not investors, made the key cuts

Skype CEO Tony Bates — and not the company’s private equity investors — were behind company’s decision to part ways with many of their senior mangers, a company spokesperson told GigaOM. Skype Journal reported earlier that a whole gaggle of senior-level executives had been cut from the company.

Why Skype just added deeper Facebook integration

Skype added deeper Facebook integration to its latest software for Windows, bringing instant messaging, the ability to “like” a Facebook status from Skype and improved contact integration. This is just the start for a stronger partnership between the two and it doesn’t end on the desktop.

Microsoft Buys Skype: What the Web Is Saying

Now that the word is out on the Microsoft-Skype deal, the pick-up is still leaving many scratching their heads. Others, however, are seeing some of the wisdom in the move, though it still comes down to Microsoft making the deal work, which is far from given.

Why Facebook + Skype Is Not a Bad Idea

Looks like Skype is in play, again. Unlike last time, both the suitors have good business reasons. Between Google and Facebook, the social networking giant makes perfect sense. We actually suggested this deal six months ago. Question is: why does Skype want to sell?

Smart Software Saves Money on Voice Calls: Bababoo

It’s time smartphone apps were smarter at making calls. Bababoo for iPhone does just that by looking at both the handset connections — WiFi, 3G data or cellular voice — as well as where and who you’re calling, then places the call in the most inexpensive method.

With 3G Voice, Could Skype for Android Be Your Phone?

An updated Skype client for Google Android devices is available today with two notable improvements: a security patch and support for voice calls over 3G networks around the world, including the U.S. Could Skype be planning a data-only handset for voice calls over mobile broadband?

Look Out Skype! T-Mobile Powers Facebook VoIP

Integrated voice calls to Facebook chat friends arrives today, but not from Skype, Google Voice or another usual suspect. Say hello to T-Mobile’s new Bobsled brand of solutions, the first of which is a free application that integrates with Facebook for voice calls.

Viber Bears Down on Skype With New Texting Feature

iPhone VoIP app Viber introduced a new update Thursday that introduces text messaging and some excellent UX refinements. Viber is growing fast (with 10 million downloads since its introduction), and smart updates like this will help make sure it keeps nipping at Skype’s heels.

Verizon Wireless Wants to Be Your Landline

Verizon launched a device this week that, much like a MagicJack or Ooma, will connect to your existing home phone and deliver voice calls for a fee. The move shows how Verizon is prepping for an all-IP future and could disrupt its competitors.

Bandwidth.com and Verizon Just Made VoIP Sustainable

Bandwidth.com and Verizon Communications today signed an agreement that could make it easier from companies such as Skype and Twilio to build out cool VoIP applications and service as well as set precedent ahead of any regulatory policy on how phone companies charge for VoIP calls.

Skype Is Killing It on Long Distance

Skype voice traffic is expected to grow by 45 billion minutes in 2010 to more than twice the volume added by all the world’s phone companies combined, according to research firm Telegeography. That means one out of five voice minutes is now going to Skype.

Will Skype Be Banned in China?

China has reportedly moved to block private VoIP services such as Skype and will only allow China Telecom and China Unicom to offer such services. It’s unclear when this will take effect or if it means the outright ban of services such as Skype.

What K-O’ed Skype Last Week

Skype, the Internet telephony service went on the blink last week, stranding millions who rely on it to communicate. In conversation, CEO Tony Bates revealed that the problem might be some errant Windows clients, but that only hinted at the true cause, which I explain here.

Viber Gives Skype a Run for Its Money on iPhone

Skype has new competition on the iPhone platform thanks to Viber, a new VoIP app that allows iPhone-to-iPhone calling over 3G and Wi-Fi connections. The app is free, runs in the background, doesn’t have any ads and won’t charge you anything to make calls.

Why Broadband Changes Everything

Consumers are using the Internet more often for more things, such as voice communication and streaming video, according to the Cisco Systems Visual Networking Index Study. Peak hours, when Internet traffic is up to 72 percent higher than average, could soon become the new prime time.

UMA Comes To T-Mobile Androids… Almost!

T-Mobile USA says it will be launching UMA-based Wi-Fi calling on a select few Android handsets in coming days. Unlike in the past, Andorid phones will use an App for Wi-Fi calling. T-Mobile’s myTouch and new Motorola’s DEFY are likely to support UMA-based calling features.

Skype Hires A New CEO From Cisco

Skype, which filed for an IPO in August, is now bringing in an outsider as CEO. The company has hired Tony Bates, an SVP at Cisco (NSDQ: CSC…

FriendCaller Shows There Is Voice Beyond Skype

FriendCaller, a browser-based click-to-call voice calling service developed by Dortmund, Germany-based startup C2Call, is once again showing that despite Skype’s monstrous market share, the game isn’t over just yet. The company is adding thousands of new users every day.

Skype Wants to Power Your Corporate Phone System

Skype is taking the beta tag off Skype Connect, its VoIP service that integrates into an enterprise PBX or Unified Communication solution. Why the push for business customers? Skype has to beat Google to the punch and start getting more of its customers to buy services.

Is Skype Up For Sale?

Skype, the Internet telephony company that recently filed for an IPO maybe up for sale. Cisco Systems is said to be sniffing around Skype, according to a report. The deal if it happens would put Cisco in direct conflict with some of its carrier customers.

Meet The 2600hz Project, The New Sound of Open Source Telephony

Some of the developers behind FreePBX, a well-known open-source phone system, have teamed up and started The 2600hz Project, an entity promoting a collection of open-source telephony applications and libraries. They’re releasing blue.box, a reworked version of open source FreePBX.

Skype Launches on Sony Ericsson Symbian Phones

Skype, which is available on Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s Symbian devices, today launched support for three Sony Ericsson phones that are based on the Symbian OS. Skype will be available on Satio, Vivaz and Vivaz Pro. Skype now supports “the latest version of the Symbian platform.”

Skype 3G iPhone: 5M Downloads — But What's the Usage?

Skype says that less than a week after it was made available, nearly 5 million people have downloaded the 3G version of its iPhone app, with the demand distributed across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. But how many people are actually using it?

Skype Calls Over 3G Now a Reality

It’s been a long time coming, but you can now finally make calls using Skype over 3G. Version 2.0 of Skype’s free iPhone app can be downloaded from the iTunes store now. However, despite making 3G VOIP calls a reality, it’s not all good news

Skype Launches Even Cheaper Voice Call Subscriptions

Skype is launching a new set of subscription plans that would make it even cheaper to call globally. These plans come as a 60-minute to unlimited calling packages. Prices to many locations across the globe are going to be around a penny a minute.

Skype By the Numbers: It's Really Big

We all marvel at Facebook, with its roughly 400 million users. For context, consider Skype, which at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 had 560 million registered users, a data point Skype’s chief technology strategist, Jonathan Rosenberg, shared with the attendees of eComm.

Skype-Verizon Deal: More Details

Skype and Verizon this week announced a partnership that would embed the Internet calling service on Verizon’s smartphones. The question on my mind was: Is this deal exclusive? And when executives refused to share details, I did some digging. Here are some new details.

Unlike Skype, a New iPhone App Makes VoIP Calls Over 3G

Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi, was jumping with joy when I spoke with him earlier today. Why? Because Apple has approved the latest version of Toktumi’s mobile VoIP app, which allows you to call and receive phone calls over 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

Skype CEO: Skype Over 3G on iPhone Soon

In a recent conversation Skype CEO Josh Silverman we asked: When was Skype going to launch an upgrade to its iPhone app that would allow us to use the service over 3G networks? His answer: “Very soon.” That should be good news for Skype users.

Skype to Work on Verizon's Android & BlackBerry Phones

Skype and Verizon are likely to announce a brand-new partnership tomorrow at the Mobile World Congres currently being held in Barcelona. Amongst the devices likely to be supported: Blackberry Storm, Storm 2, Curve, Curve2, Tour, Tour2, the 8830 World Edition and Motorola Androids.

Are We Getting Closer to an All-VoIP Mobile Phone?

When it comes to mobiles phones, if we want to talk more, we can expect to pay more. But VoIP over 3G networks could drastically change that. Carriers aren’t too keen on the idea, but some folks believe it’s the next logical step in mobile communication.

Call Me via VoIP on Facebook

8×8 has launched a new application that allows you to add a “Call Me” button to your Facebook page, thus allowing you to receive calls without giving out your digits. Since you can control access to your Facebook page, this is better than Do-not-call list.

Ifbyphone, VoIP Apps Provider Buys Cloudvox

Ifbyphone acquired Cloudvox in a tie-up of players on the fast-changing Internet voice field. We’ll see more consolidation in the space as voice transitions from traditional networks toward an all-IP universe — and as traditional network operators try to differentiate their offerings.

The iPhone & the Lack of Voice Over 3G: Alternative Theory

Apple & AT&T have come under criticism for not allowing VoIP over today’s 3G mobile broadband connections when using the iPhone. People are still asking why there is no VoIP over 3G. Some think AT&T and Apple are a conniving bunch, but there’s an alternative theory.

Rebtel Buying a Part of Talkster

Rebtel, the Stockholm, Sweden-based VoIP service provider is buying Free World Dialing, a division of Toronto-based VoIP service provider, Talkster for an undisclosed amount. As part of the agreement, Rebtel will carry all of Talkster’s international traffic over its network.

Here Comes Dynamic Caller ID

Flat Planet Phone Co., an Israeli VoIP startup, has developed a new VoIP technology called Dynamic Caller ID, that essentially allows you to have dynamically generated multiple Caller IDs. These IDs depend on the local number being dialed.

Skype to FCC: Keep the Internet Open & Neutral

Skype in an FCC filing said that net neutrality was “about growing the broadband ecosystem and preserving a borderless, open Internet” and promoting “investment, jobs and innovation.” It applauds the FCC’s broadband proposals but wants to keep wireless broadband networks open for VoIP services.

Skype New Chair Appointment: Smart Move

Skype has tapped former Sony Ericsson President and current senoir adviser to Silver Lake Partners Miles Flint to chair its board. With Flint’s experience and Skype’s contentious history, it’s a move that makes sense — on a number of levels.

Google May Have Bought Gizmo5

Google (s GOOG) is rumored to have bought Gizmo5, provider of a SIP-based service, for an undisclosed amount of money, according to…

VoIP Ringing Up Billions in Sales

Can you believe that VoIP-based telephony services brought in nearly $20.7 billion in revenues during the first six months of 2009? Incredible…

Seriously…a VoIP App Store?

VoIP and messaging application provider BroadSoft, in conjunction with its BroadSoft Connections conference, today introduced a new app store, BroadSoft Marketplace, where…

Voice Is Dead or Long Live Voice?

[qi:gigaom_icon_voip] I first started seriously writing about voice delivered over the Internet almost 10 years ago. I’ve written about the meteoric rise…


Life After Chrome: What’s Next for Android

When Google recently announced its upcoming Chrome OS and emphasized that it is headed for netbooks, many people wondered what that would mean for Android. There had been a lot of talk about Android’s prospects on netbooks, but Google’s announcement seemed to make clear that its not-yet-delivered operating system is in fact its own favorite entrant in the netbook race. But that doesn’t mean the Android OS is going to languish outside the smartphone market.

Confirmed: Skype on iPhone

Skype (s EBAY) will release a version of its VoIP application for the iPhone and the iPod touch on Tuesday, according to…

Skype Now Means Business, Friends the SIP World

Updated: Skype has announced it will play nice with corporate PBX systems that use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). While details thus far are fuzzy, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Skype-for-SIP product will be introduced as a beta product and will be tested by a limited number of companies.

Who Killed the VoIP Revolution?

While proponents of VoIP had long promised a decade of creative destruction, they themselves appear to have become the victims. By tying their fortunes to the whimsy of the incumbent local exchange carriers, many of the upstarts have suffered, destroying billions of dollars in shareholder value in the process.

BroadSoft Cuts Jobs As Sales Slow

BroadSoft, a Gaithersburg, Md.,-based VoIP application platform maker, has cut about a dozen positions, according to a source familiar with the company.

Aircell: On U.S. Planes, VoIP Will Be Muted

Ever since Andy Abramson figured out a way to make VoIP calls over GoGo, the in-flight broadband system from Aircell, there has been a flurry of activity leading to the banning of some of the services he used. “The carriers and Aircell have taken a position on this because we don’t want people talking on the plane,” a company spokesperson told me. But where does it all stop?

Telerupted: Twilight for Telephone Networks

SIP-compatible VoIP devices already account for as much as 20 percent of landline telephone traffic. But mobile telephones will not remain a safe haven for long, as more companies start to offer VoIP alternatives to operator voice plans. Yet the displacement of analog phones by VoIP devices has not displaced the telephone network itself.

Ooma Not Dead Yet

Ooma, a Palo Alto, Calif-based company that launched with much fanfare last year had run into a wall in recent months. It…

RingCentral Rings Up $12 Million

[qi:086] RingCentral, a Redwood City, Calif.-based VoIP company, has raised $12 million in Series B funding, doubling the amount it raised in…

Ribbit Shows its Own Web/Voice Service

Ribbit, the Mountain View, Calif.-based startup aiming to help developers unite voice with web applications, is scheduled to announce its own voice-web…

Is That Voice in Your App?

[qi:086] Things have been tough as of late for plain vanilla VoIP service providers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that voice over…

Nothing But The V-Thang

[qi:86] James Seng, a fellow VoIP blogger from Singapore, was in town last week. We met up one afternoon for coffee, and…

Are Apple’s iPhone Crosshairs on VOIP?

Alumnus of The Apple Blog, Chris Holland, is back to ranting about his tech-mistress, SIP. And although the concept may sound far-fetched…