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August 24, 2005

Skype partners with Intel on enterprise VoIP

Skype Technologies SA has teamed with Intel Corp to develop enterprise-grade VoIP, general manager of Intel digital enterprise group Pat Gelsinger announced yesterday, during his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

By CBR Staff Writer

The goal is to produce VoIP audio quality that is twice as rich as traditional telephony and boost VoIP applications that exploit Intel’s dual-core capabilities, Gelsinger said.

We’re working to drive and make business-class VoIP a reality, Gelsinger said.

New products from the partnership would be released next year around the launch of Intel’s upcoming mobile platform, codenamed Napa, said general manager of Intel digital office platform division Gregory Bryant.

Firewall awareness is among new features for future Skype applications that the two companies are working on, Bryant said.

Another focus is improving the quality of audio on VoIP conference calls, enabled by Intel’s multithreading technology, Bryant said. (Intel’s upcoming low-powered architecture does not feature multithreading, but dual-core processors would each have a thread.)

Intel also hopes to partner with other VoIP service providers, including cable, telecommunications and independent VoIP provider companies, Bryant said. Stay tuned, was his response when pressed for details.

The chipmaker has zeroed in on VoIP as its first target for its seamless collaboration enterprise initiative, Gelsinger said.

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In part, this is because Intel last year built high-definition audio support into its chipsets. Until now, Intel’s consumer group mostly exploited the feature, but the company now sees opportunity in the enterprise space as VoIP matures.

Bryant said a tipping point for enterprise VoIP would be improved quality of audio and network service for VoIP collaboration. He also said it is key for VoIP to be enabled from any business application.

Intel’s efforts with Skype are mostly being worked on in Europe, where Skype is based.

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