Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Skype considering setting up local certification center

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Peer-to-peer Internet telephony company Skype Technologies SA is considering setting up a product certification center in Taiwan, as local companies have developed a large number of Skype-compatible products, company officials said yesterday.

Half of the 60 companies that obtained product certification from Skype last year were Taiwanese, Skype engineer Manrique Brenes said after attending a forum at Computex in Taipei.

Skype's existing certification center, together with the company's research and development center, is located in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Estonia is geographically far from Taiwan, prompting several Taiwanese companies to request that Skype establish a second certification center here to speed up the certification process, said Geoffrey Prentice, Skype's general manager for Asia.

Skype's business is expanding rapidly in Taiwan, especially since the company allied with PC Home Online (網路家庭) to set up a local portal site and develop several devices to facilitate the voice-over-Internet Protocol service.

As Taiwan is an important market for Skype, the company would seriously look into the possibility of opening a certification center here, Prentice said.

Skype received certification requests for some 350 products last year, but only half of the submissions were successful. The company's certification procedure includes between 100 and 150 steps, depending on the device in question, Brenes said.

Skype-enabled products developed by Taiwanese companies are mostly wireless devices such as bluetooth headsets, Brenes said. Skype charges between 550 euros (US$704) and 800 euros to certify a product, he said.

Skype, which was recently acquired by auction portal eBay, is now the world's leader in Internet voice communications, offering people new ways to communicate in a global online era.

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