Skype Selects VSNL for Termination Services — Worldwide

Although my own experience with SkypeOut has been quite good recently; I have seen some concerns expressed elsewhere about the call quality of SkypeOut calls. My own poor experiences usually occur on calls to mobile phones where there are probably multiple coding schemes involved on both the VoIP side and the wireless side of the call; also keep in mind that the audio bandwidth for mobile calls is significantly lower than that on Skype calls.

However, yesterday’s announcement of Skype’s selection of VSNL International as a new termination provider partner holds significant promise for an overall improvement in SkypeOut voice quality. About two years ago VSNL acquired Teleglobe, a company who had its origins in Canada as the Canadian overseas long distance provider and became, partially through an acquisition of Tom Evslin’s IXTC, the world’s largest (at the time) wholesale carrier of international VOIP and the seventh largest carrier of any kind. Tom wrote an excellent post on the VSNL acquisition of Teleglobe: "The World is Flat: VSNL in Definitive Agreement to Acquire Teleglobe" at the time. It includes a history of the evolution of VSNL from the state-controlled Indian telecom monopoly into a privatized division of India’s Tata Group. In another post, Tom describes how competition drove ITXC to ensure they were offering a high quality service:

We managed to overcome enough of the suspicion about VoIP to allow us to take a substantial chunk of the world’s international traffic long before consumers even knew there was such a thing as VoIP.

VoIP Monitor brings us up to date on VSNL’s current market position with "more than 415 combined direct and bilateral relationships with leading international voice telecommunications providers" and

Over 450 customers including the major portal players are currently utilizing VoIPLink, the Teleglobe premiere voice peering service. VoIPLink provides full interoperability with a diverse list of VoIP equipment and software vendors across multiple protocols.

(Hat tip to Andy for pointing us to this post.) Hopefully we can look forward to improved consistency of SkypeOut voice quality over time as this agreement is implemented.

Footnote: Interesting to note that, in his first post linked above, Tom mentions "Teleglobe was reconstructed from the assets of the former Canadian monopoly international carrier of the same name which were purchased out of bankruptcy by Cerberus, a leveraged buy-out firm." This is the same Cerberus that last week acquired the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.
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