Feeds

Closed Skype wants open networks

Pot, dial Kettle

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

eBay's proprietary VoIP service Skype wants the Federal Communications Commission to change its rules on how cellular networks operate.

It's demanding that the US regulator extend a 1968 legal decision, which permitted any device to be attached to the AT&T network, to apply to mobile operators. It also wants a new industry body to decide the standards for the networks, and ensure they comply: effectively bypassing the 3GPP, 3GPP2 and IETF standards bodies.

"After you", the operators may well say.

For Skype is a closed system itself, using a proprietary signalling protocol, in contrast to the open SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) family of industry standards. In addition, the Skype client is closed proprietary software - in contrast to the software libre WengoPhone project, and in contrast to much of the core infrastructure used by VoIP service providers, which is often based on Asterisk, which is available under GPL.

But is the claim justified?

In practice, operators in Europe and the USA permit devices to be attached to the cellular networks, but fastidiously block any services they don't like. Operators regard Skype as piggy-backing onto infrastructure which required billions of dollars of investment. If they open their networks to all-comers, the operators face becoming commoditized "bit pipes". And yet Skype is in a similar position: if open SIP standards continue to gain adoption, it becomes little more than an expensively-acquired, non-standard brand name.

As a piece of grandstanding, then, Skype's submission measures up to Steve Jobs' recent essay where he lamented DRM incompatibilities - as he justified his refusal to license his DRM to anybody else.

The Pot Meets Kettle Awards are certainly going to be busy this year. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.