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March 22, 2010

Grandstream Announces Interoperability with Skype

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

IP multimedia phones manufacturer Grandstream kicked off this week’s VoiceCon show in Orlando with an announcement that its technology is now interoperable with Skype.

Specifically, Grandstream’s GXE IP PBX (News - Alert)is now compatible with the Skype for SIP open beta program, making it the third VoIP vendor to test interoperable in the program, following Cisco and Shoretel.

In an exclusive podcast with TMCnet just days before the announcement, Khris Kendrick (News - Alert), senior director of business development, discussed the interoperability testing – and the significance of the news.

“Well, it’s pretty huge for us,” Kendrick told TMCnet, adding that achieving interoperability took about a year. “As you know, Skype (News - Alert)is the biggest network on the earth. And Grandstream’s participation in this in testing interoperability and getting certified is going to be huge for Grandstream because we have products that fit the right price point for Skype users and business users throughout the world.”

The significance of the announcement is that now small- to medium-size businesses using Grandstream’s SIP-enabled GXE IP PBX with integrated FXS and FXO gateway features can reap additional cost savings and improved communications by directing their outbound calls to mobile phones and landlines via Skype at competitive termination rates. Plus, they can do all this without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Additionally, SMBs can also receive free inbound calls from Skype users anywhere in the world with an internet connection, essentially eliminating the costly investment in dedicated 1-800 numbers.

“Achieving interoperability on Skype for SIP gives Grandstream’s CPE customers another powerful new tool for improving their communications, enhancing business growth opportunities and reducing long distance expenditures with Skype,” said David Li, CEO of Grandstream Networks (News - Alert). “We are pleased to be the first purpose built IP PBX and multimedia ready appliance to date that is fully certified on the Skype for SIP platform.”

With the announcement under its belt, Kendrick told TMCnet that Grandstream is envisioning a number of exciting new applications and possibilities.

“We decided to work with Skype because we could see their platform – their video, voice, multimedia, Web 2.0-type applications -- fit exactly what Grandstream is trying to achieve in the future.”

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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