JINGLE Implementation Growing: Open Alternative to Skype

JINGLE is a protocol developed by Google and the XSF (XMPP Standards Foundation) to support VoIP (Voice over IP) communication, and it is used in Google Talk. We are seeing increased implementation of JINGLE (Wikipedia lists 11 implementations, including Google Talk, and we are aware of more).

XMPP is the Internet Standard eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. Many XMPP clients now offer a “call” button (typically with a green phone icon) for each buddy (the XMPP roster) that allows direct voice communication between XMPP users. This integration is a useful capability. Voice communication goes directly client to client using the real-time VoIP protocol.

In order for this to work, the VoIP connection needs to be established, and this needs a session initiation protocol to communicate the desire to communicate and then negotiate the details of the VoIP connection to be used. JINGLE, which reflects the ringing of a telephone, is the XMPP protocol used to achieve this.

JINGLE is a general-purpose session initiation protocol, and can be used to negotiate connections for other services such as video, and can also set up multiparty conferences.

JINGLE is an important standard that seems certain to grow with XMPP and be used alongside XMPP, to support voice and video for XMPP clients. Voice calls from such clients can be gatewayed to other VoIP services, mobile and landline. GTalk2VoIP is an example of such a service.

The XMPP/JINGLE/VoIP combination of open standards gives a clear platform for solutions to compete against Skype, the (proprietary) market-leading software phone system.

Steve Kille

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