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Beta Test of "Skype to SMS" Service Announced

Just Three Weeks After "SMS to Skype," Now the Reverse Becomes Possible Too

Connectotel has announced the launch of the public Beta test of its new 'Skype to SMS' service, allowing Skype users to send SMS text messages from within Skype Chat to any GSM mobile phone user. 

"We launched our 'SMS to Skype' service just three weeks ago and have been very pleased with the positive feedback from Skype users. Now we are adding the next logical progression: 'Skype to SMS'," commented Marcus Williamson of Connectotel.

The current private Beta testers have already shown enormous enthusiasm for being able to send SMS text messages from Skype Chat using this new service. Now we are opening up the service to a wider public," he added. 

How does "Skype to SMS"  work?
Skype users start a Chat with the Skype user called smsgateway, then type the following from within the Skype Chat window to send a message:

+number message

The message is transmitted to Connectotel's 'Skype to SMS' gateway system and is passed from there to the GSM network.

Availability and Pricing:
'Skype to SMS' is available as a Beta test service for all users of Skype who have been authorized by Connectotel. For information about authorization please see the FAQ here:
http://www.connectotel.com/sms/skypetosmsfaq.html

There is no charge for the SMS messages sent, for the duration of the Beta test. The 'SMS to Skype' Beta test service is available free of charge to all users of Skype.

Connectotel is examining the possibility of providing other gateway services, including, for example, links to and from e-mail, fax and outside data feeds, based on similar technology.

Further information: http://www.connectotel.com/sms/skypefaq.html

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Most Recent Comments
Skype Rival 02/27/05 02:02:07 PM EST

StanaPhone is the first free telephone with real US phone numbers, and a Skype competitor (http://www.stanaphone.com/).

It allows you to call and receive calls from regular home & mobile phones as well as place free calls to and receive them from any StanaPhone number, regardless of its location.

EvilStein 02/27/05 01:56:24 PM EST

Tried making a Skype call to another user on the same LAN. There was nothing but static.

On the bright side, the static sounded almost exactly like a nice, calming, flowing river. We can toss those little "zen waterfall" things in our cubes and just leave Skype running. Pretty much the same sound.

B4RSK 02/27/05 01:55:25 PM EST

I've been using Skype on Windows for some time now. It works really well overall, and especially the PC2PC sound quality is excellent. Usually as good or better than a local landline call.

I have also been using SkypeOut, their 1.7 Euro cent/minute (2.2 US cents). SkypeOut has saved me a lot of cash, both in international calls from home and when making calls from hotels when traveling. Yep, Skype gets out of the usually heavily blocked hotel networks! So instead of being stuck paying exorbitant hotel long distance rates I pay the standard SkypeOut rate. Awesome!

Except.... Skype now refuses to take my credit card to buy more pre-paid SkypeOut credit. I've tried 3 different cards, all of which work on Amazon US and Japan as well as various other sites. No go. :( I contacted their "live support" chat option but was told that Skype is having issues with their card approval company.

chia_monkey 02/27/05 01:54:08 PM EST

For about a year and a half, I had to locate myself in Philly while keeping operations of our company up and running in California. My business partner and I had weekly meetings, starting out with Chat on OS X, then audio chat. When we discovered Skype, we switched to that. We found that it seemed to work a bit better. I even used my PS 2 USB headset (originally purchased for SOCOM II) and enjoyed the experience.

Granted, we used it on a very basic level...simply for online chat. I'm looking forward to bigger and better uses, especially loading it onto a wifi-enabled PDA and using it as a "cell phone".

Micah 02/27/05 01:40:04 PM EST

I just discovered Skype about a week ago. I was thrilled upon seeing that there was a Linux version, even if beta. I live in Ecuador and badly wanted a way to call the States cheap, but was unwilling to put Windows on my computer for that purpose.

Experiences: Downloaded their version from skype.com. Ran it. It instantly hung on the registration screen. Ran it as root, and that worked.

Then realized that it was in Gentoo's portage. Emerged it. It started OK, but crashed immediately upon trying to make a call.

Went back to the first version I had downloaded, running as root, and everything worked fine!

Normally, there's little I hate more than running closed-source software as root, but I'll forgive them this time since 1) it's a beta, 2) they're bringing a valuable service to Linux, and 3) from what I can tell, they are a reputable company with a reputation to tarnish if it did something bad to my box. (Also, my personal box isn't *that* important anyway, and could be re-installed worst case scenario.)

I will try this new version tonight. If the issues are fixed and I can run as non-root, I'll be very happy! If not, I'll be mildly annoyed but still thankful.

Thanks Skype.

anti-NAT 02/27/05 01:38:30 PM EST

It's a pity that Skype doesn't comply with any Open VoIP standards. It's almost inevitable that they'll leverage for their own financial benefit their customer lockin at some point in the future, just like Microsoft do with their closed file formats.

Down Under 02/27/05 01:36:54 PM EST

Recently, a friend of mine moved offices and got his business cards reprinted. Instead of the average numbers (Office, Mobile, Fax), he now has Office, Mobile, Fax, Skype and MSN contact details listed there.

Whats more, is that his Office number is actually a VoIP number with a provider we have here in Sydney. Also, his fax line doesn't actually go to a fax, but rather a service that forwards the fax digitally to his email inbox as a .PDF file.

If he wants to send a fax, he simply emails a .PDF to this email address, with the phone number of recipient in the subject line.

Talk about a digital office. It also means that he can do business with his laptop and a internet connection.

jmoody 02/27/05 01:28:37 PM EST

I'm not sure why anyone would ever consider using technology from a company like Skype when even if the solution was open source many would question the motives of the organization. Now, in adition to the potential problems with Skype in terms of security and spyware there is a very good free choice from XTEN and sipphone.com availble at no cost with full NAT support and using open technology. In addition, those people who start using the X10 softphone can continue to use it when they add lines via other providers and/or buy minutes from Sipphone.com or even better when the company moves to a local vo/ip system liek Asterisk. I would like to see anyone tell me a single advantage of Skype over an X10 based system using sipphone.com for free calls. Skype has been well sold and hyped - that is all. All you IT people should know better, ever tried to get rid of Kazaa from a Windows machine?

inode_buddha 02/27/05 01:27:57 PM EST

Perhaps *now* the FCC, etc. will think long and hard about VoIP regulation as a telco, now that businesses are learning of it. One can hope.

s88 02/27/05 01:26:06 PM EST

My company doesn't pay for personal phone calls for business trips of less than a week. My cell phone doesn't work out of the country. Foriegn hotels charge an arm and a leg per minute for calls... so Skype was perfect to call home to my wife. It sounded great all the way from Brussels, Belgium back to Ohio.

Now that I have Skype on my wifi-enabled PDA, I'm in heaven.

NetStatic 02/27/05 01:25:34 PM EST

Skype doesn't offer the "carrier grade" telephony quality/reliability/features businesses are looking for. It's great as a additional line but that's it.

Turkish delight 02/27/05 01:23:34 PM EST

Skype rocks. My mother is one of the most technophobic human being alive. When she found out that she could call my sister in Turkey from the U.S. using Skype, and save a ton of money in the process, once I demo'd it for her, she asked me to set it up. NOW they talk nearly every day. There has NEVER been any technical trouble...except for that time she insisted that she couldn't hear my sister...turns out the volume was turned down on her iMac :)

Skype is a great application that can provide you with low cost computer to landline phone calls, or FREE computer to computer. I highly recommend it.

richardoz 02/27/05 01:22:56 PM EST

We have a geographically diverse team from (ranging from west coast US, east coast US, South Africa and India). We use Skype for our weekly conference calls. The audio quality is much better than telco lines (most of the time).

an00n 02/27/05 01:22:26 PM EST

I recently visited the bristish virgin islands, and saw an insurance company there using skype for internal calls and external long distance.

Skype hype 02/27/05 01:20:52 PM EST

So the service using hardware and software developed by Connectotel which provides a gateway between the world of GSM SMS and the world of Skype. I liiike it!

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