JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Internet telephony company Skype aims to open up its platform to boost access to services by the business sector, Chief Executive Josh Silverman said on Wednesday.
"We are working on how to do this," he told reporters at the Israel Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
The company is beta testing Skype for SIP, which would enable the integration of Skype on business telephony networks. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the leading voice over Internet protocol used in these networks.
Silverman said the product should be commercially launched in 2010.
Last month a group led by top Internet financiers in Silicon Valley and Europe agreed buy a 65 percent stake in Skype from eBay for $1.9 billion.
But Skype's founders have asked a U.S. federal court to prevent Index Ventures and one of its partners from further participating in the proposed acquisition of the Web phone service, according to a court filing.
Asked about the matter, Silverman said: "We have stated publicly, the head of eBay has stated, that we are extremely confident in our legal position."
Skype has registered 480 million users worldwide in the six years since it was launched. Calls to other Skype users are free, but the company charges for calls to traditional phone numbers and other additional features.
Mobile carriers are slowly starting to allow Skype on their phones as they have feared losing revenue if clients were to make calls over the Web instead of on their regular service.
Silverman said he welcomed a recent decision by AT&T to allow Skype to use its cellular network.
He praised Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Julius Genachowski for his efforts on proposing a Net neutrality rule aimed at ensuring network operators like AT&T and others treat the flow of Internet content and applications without discrimination.
Silverman said it should not matter what type of data is transmitted and noted Internet calls are data.
"Data is data," he said. "Your carrier should not determine which data they like and don't like. It should be up to the customers how to use the data plans they buy (from cellular companies)," he said.
"We see this as a issue of consumer protection and civil rights."
Editing by David Holmes