Skype provides free “voice over the Internet” phone service to millions of customers (22 million people have downloaded its software). As a free service, it’s good enough as a friend of mine attests to.
Cnet writes Skype uses peer-to-peer architecture, which requires no infrastructure and, compared with phone companies that own their own lines and switches, only minimal capital investment. Rather, Skype’s 750,000 daily users create the network on the fly, sharing computer resources to manage traffic flow and ensure call quality. Skype claims its network can grow organically, without the need for the company to add new equipment to support increased traffic demands.
Skype is now moving to sell its VOIP services to businesses – but is it good enough.
USA Today writer Edward C. Baig writes But the biggest problem with Skype is its uneven voice quality. At best the sound was halfway decent, along the lines of a typical cell phone call. A San Francisco-based editor I called on Skype compared our conversation to talking through tin cans. The audio drifted in and out during a Skype conference call I had with company CEO and co-founder Niklas Zennstrˆm. He was in London at the time; I was in New Jersey. A Skype PR person was also on the line.