August 29, 2006

GTalk and Skype CAN Interop

Om points out an entry in GTalk's blog that suggests GTalk and Skype are exploring the possibility of interoperability between them. He questions whether it is even feasible and calls on me with an ego-boosting remark. How can I not respond?

The short answer is that it is eminently feasible for these two networks to interoperate. After all, Skype clients signal only through supernodes and these supernodes can route the signaling messages to an “XMPP signaling gateway” which translates Skype signaling messages to corresponding XMPP messages. Now it is possible that there may be a mismatch in procedures/messages related to some supplementary services; but I do not anticipate any for basic call setup and clearing. Since both of them use GIPS iSAC codec there will not be any issue regarding codec interoperability. Even though Skype uses encryption normally, (if I recall correctly) it does not encrypt calls to PSTN; similarly, it may decide not to encrypt calls to Gtalk. Thus, at least for calls involving simple setup and tear down, what is required is a straight forward signaling gateway between them.

I would think that exchanging text messages will be equally straight forward, at least for basic capabilities and exclude emoticons and avatars etc. But then again Gtalk does not support many of these “frills”.

Having said that, let me hasten to register once more my dismay at “click-to-call” programs, even though the current press release does not explicitly calls out. The general perception seems to be that pay per call will generate more revenue than pay per click, even though there is another general perception that voice is just an application in the Internet (as if it is not in PSTN). So if Google is planning to charge more for click-to-call links then that is “evil”, in as much as it can be easily circumvented.

Posted by aswath at August 29, 2006 06:30 AM
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
If you do not have an OpenID, then please use



Aswath: Thanks for taking a shot at the myth that Click-to-Call (C2C) will greatly increase the cost of a click. Four reasons: Consumers don't "C2C" until they have learned more about a product or service by scanning the web page. If they have a complicated issue (reservation, return, etc.) with the vendor that requires a phone call, they will go to the site (with the C2C button) directly without guidance from a search engine. Vendors know this. They don't want ignorant consumers tying up their call centers with uninformed questions that could be more easily answered on their website or by email. If Google thinks they can charge $3.00 per C2C, Miva or Yahoo or MSN will offer $2.00. If Ebay forces its merchants to use its system and only its system then they have a world of hurt coming their way. Sure Google and Ebay have big market power now but it won't help them squeeze big returns from C2C. Finally there are tons on competitors to Skype and Gtalk as well as Ebay and Google Search. Some like Yahoo, MSN, and AOL are big. Ever heard of Helpcaster, Abbeynet, JaJah, Live Person or CallinSearch? These folks have nifty technologies and/or very aggressive pricing that will complicate GOOG/EBAY's plans to be evil.

The real deal for GOOG/EBAY is not higher C2C rates or Skype/Gtalk interoperability but taking share from YellowPages in the mass market. That's going to happen when they find a way to break out of the "early adopter" ghetto. Still looking.

Posted by: phoneranger at August 29, 2006 08:20 AM

I concur. Whether or not they CAN charge more for C2C, it seems to me that the intelligent business strategy is to charge the same for C2C as a regular click. When you have market muscle, the right strategy is to use it.

Posted by: Alec Saunders at August 29, 2006 10:05 AM

Copyright © 2003-2014 Moca Educational Products.