Posts Tagged Skype
There are generally two paid options for letting people reach you via Skype for free:
- Skype Connect charges US$6.95/month per channel. So if you plan to use it for conferencing or something decent, you need more channels. Also if you want the user to enter DTMF digits during the call, that’s going to be tricky: the dialpad is hidden in Skype menus, and one can choose it only during the call.
- Toll-free numbers. Skype users can dial them for free, even the users with zero credit. Also you automatically get the DTMF dialpad within one click. An UK toll-free number with SIP forwarding would cost you US$7.70 per month, plus $US0.0377 per minute (there are also cheaper offers for US toll-free numbers, but I live in Europe). So, 5 hours a month of conference use would cost you $US11.31 for call minutes, plus US$7.70 monthly fee… so at a price of a 3-channel Skype Connect we get a better service, unlimited number of channels, and also a PSTN gateway. Profit!
The only positive thing is, that the announcement is already few months old, and the Skype support is still there. Hopefully they will find a way to work together…
Tropo is a cool and relatively new service for on-line voice application programming. As described in this article, Tropo generates phone numbers in +990 range, and calls to these numbers from Skype are free of charge.
Tropo provides an API for many programming languages, and quite interesting features. Also it can host your application source, so you don;t need any additional services to run your application.
Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the Skype number to become active after creating a new application.
That’s it, and you can create an application with this file. Tropo automatically assigns a few new numbers, including a Skype Voice number for free calls (+990009369996210741 in my case. You would hear MOH from my FreeSWITCH server).
UPD: this feature appears to be known since long time via the Voxeo service, and Tropo (being a service on top of Voxeo) makes it easier to use.
I’m organizing a conference bridge for one enthusiast software project, and the participants are spread across the globe. Also some of them are reluctant to install a SIP client, and there’s no local PSTN-to-SIP gateway, and they would prefer calling from Skype.
Here’s the list of possibilities that I found to call a SIP account from Skype. Any feedback and additions will be appreciated.
All these methods require you to dial a number into a Skype call. In Skype client 5.x, this is available in “Call->Show Dial Pad” menu.
- the Bulgarian operator BGOPEN.NET has a “bgopen” Skype account. After calling in, you can dial any SIPbroker.com destination (starting with *)
- the Russian VoIP operator SIPNET.ru has an internal Skype<->SIP gateway. You need to register a permanent account, which requires a minimum payment of $3. All instructions are available in Russian language only.
- Coming soon: Zadarma.com is promising a Skype<->SIP gateway, and now only SIP->Skype mode is available (which is also a great advantage already).
there are probably more. My primary focus was to let my Russian colleagues to connect to my FreeSWITCH server.
ComfyTel provides similar services as with Zadarma.com: you can create up to 3 SIP accounts which would be reachable from any of their PSTN access gateways. The only difference is the geographical coverage of those gateways, and also you get an 11-digit internal number (compared to a 5-digit number at Zadarma).
Also additional things which are not (yet) seen at Zadarma:
- you can forward calls to your Skype account. But last time I checked it, about 30% of calls were dropped. Probably their Skype gateway has limited capacity.
- You also get an 11-digit internal number which can be forwarded to your multiple SIP accounts at the same time.