Skype Sticks With GIPS

Voice over IP heavy-hitter Skype has signed a four-year
contract extension with voice-processing specialist Global IP Sound (GIPS).

GIPS has provided support for Skype on the desktop since 2003 and will
continue to do so. In addition, the San Francisco-based company will help
bring a pre-installed version of Skype to manufacturers of Wi-Fi-enabled
handsets.

“We have lots of experience working with mobile applications, and in fact
have a product designed specifically for this — VoiceEngine Mobile,” Wendy
Toth, a GIPS spokeswoman, told internetnews.com.

The offering is a variation on GIPS’ VoiceEngine product, which powers VoIP
offerings from Skype, as well as Google, MSN, AOL, EarthLink and others.

GIPS voice-processing technology eliminates sound delay, acoustic and
network echo and jitter — some of the problems that plagued early VoIP
services.

A Skype spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment. In a
statement, James Bilefield, Skype’s vice president of business development,
said, “We see Skype on mobile devices as a big part of our future
development and are delighted that GIPS is working with us and other
partners.”

Financial terms of the agreement between the two privately held firms were
not disclosed.

The move toward a more mobile Skype comes during a period of frenzied
activity at the Luxembourg-based company.

Last month it announced its acquisition by online auction giant eBay for $2.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Skype’s been busy putting the finishing touches on version 1.4 of its desktop VoIP software. The updated
offering features enhanced sound quality and new call forwarding and
personalization features.

In just two years, Skype has amassed 55 million registered users for its
service. The company is now amassing 170,000 new users per week, which is about 20,000 more than before its acquisition by eBay was announced.

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