Elinor Axelsson , pp. 21. TEK/avd. för interaktion och systemdesign, 2007.
The project is a practical and theoretical test of IP telephony with Skype in order to form a base for a comparison between IP-Telephony with Skype and the Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN). PSTN is the common standard that most of us use for telephony today. The objective for the study is to simplify the choice between PSTN and IP-Telephony for the Swedish private customer user group.
The project is supposed to answer the following questions.
- How easy is it to start using IP-telephony with Skype?
- How is the quality of IP-telephony compared to PSTN?
- Are all services provided by PSTN available and accessible using the IP-solution?
- How are the usability and the availability of support with IP telephony?
- Is IP-telephony a cheaper solution and in that case under which circumstances?
Within the project a collection of practical and theoretical tests have been performed to be able to form an opinion on the IP-solution in the following areas, installation, function, quality, usability, costs, accessibility and security.
In order to study usability, a test group of ten persons have been used to evaluate the usability of the system. A practical test of the Skype client has been committed through a series of test calls to examine function and quality. Data on accessibility, cost and security of the Skype solution have been examined in relevant literature and on the Internet.
The study shows that the Skype solution works as well as PSTN considering function and quality. A certain amount of computer knowledge is required to install and to used the Skype solution, thereby it is not as user friendly as the PSTN. Considering the costs, it is only possible to save money for those who make a large amount of international calls. In other cases the Skype solution is more expensive. Skype themselves are very clear that they do not provide the function of emergency calls. This is considered as a large setback reviewing the possibility of replacing your PSTN telephone with the Skype solution.
The conclusion based on the facts and arguments in this report is that the IP-solution is not an alternative for the Swedish private customer user group in general, compared to PSTN.