OpenSky Opens Skype, But Does It Work?
I’m sure you’ve probably read all about Skype for Asterisk and Skype’s newly announced Skype-for-SIP service. Neither of these offerings are available today or geared at individual users. Michael Robertson’s OpenSky, which makes it possible to integrate Skype with any SIP-compliant device or service, is available as part of Gizmo5, is both available today and individual users can sign up.
The folks at Gizmo5 were nice enough to comp me an account so I could give it a try. Here’s how it works. First off, you have to sign up for a Gizmo5 account, which is free. Next, go to your members page and configure OpenSky to forward Skype calls to your Gizmo5 account.
Once that’s setup, you can either use an official Gizmo5 client, Gizmo5 on your mobile, or any SIP device you want to make calls to the SIP URI firstname.lastname@example.org. Conversely, people calling your SkypeID will get their calls forwarded to your Gizmo5/SIP client.
I had some difficulty making or receiving Skype calls until I set up the Skype call forwarding on my Gizmo5 account page. Once I did that, I found that making and receiving Skype calls worked. CallerID worked in both directions, meaning whoever was calling me on Skype showed up in CallerID as well as when I make a Skype call through OpenSky, my own SkypeID showed properly.
The one thing I’ve noticed when using OpenSky to forward Skype calls is that my presence indicator is no longer accurate. It always shows me as “online” even when my Skype client is disconnected. Not entirely sure what happens when my I reconnect with my Skype client. Do I get any IMs? Can I set my Skype status? Can I control my Skype presence indicator with OpenSky?
In any case, Gizmo5 works as advertised, though clearly some more work is needed on the Skype presence piece. Gizmo5 allows you to make calls to and from Skype for free for up to 5 minutes. If you want longer calls, it will cost you $20 a year. Less per-account in blocks of 50 or more.
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