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February 15, 2006

iSkoot Links Cell Phones To Skype



Courtesy of TechWeb News

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A U.S.-based start-up firm unveiled a gateway Wednesday that links Cingular Wireless users to the Skype VoIP network, enabling cell phone callers to place and receive Internet calls.

"You don't need a PC anymore to use Skype," said Jacob Guedalia, CEO of iSkoot, in an interview from the GSM World Congress in Barcelona. "We provide the gateway. All the Skype magic happens in the network."

In launching its iSkoot Mobile Network, Guedalia said the service is getting underway with Cingular. He added that his firm is also targeting Google Talk, as well as additional calling platforms.

Noting that Cingular and GoogleTalk are open architectures, Guedalia said fertile initial grounds for the iSkoot Mobile Network are represented by cell phone service providers that use the GSM European standard that is dominant in global markets.

He explained that the GSM framework is based on Java, while the other major cell phone infrastructure represented by Qualcomm's CDMA-based BREW framework is not open.

To use the iSkoot network, a cell phone owner need only download a small piece of software from the company's Beta site, www.iskoot.com.

Guedalia concedes there are some inhibiting factors to the service, but he maintains they are disappearing, as cell phone calling and infrastructure matures. "You need to be able to make a local call (over the gateway)," he said. "And you need good mass market phones."

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