Skype, the Web Phone Giant, Brings Cheap Calls to Cellular

 

skype_logo

via NY Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Skype, the Internet calling service that has more than 400 million users around the world, is aggressively moving onto mobile phones.

The Luxembourg-based company, a division of eBay, plans to announce on Tuesday that it will make its free software available immediately for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch and, beginning in May, for various BlackBerry phones, made by Research in Motion.

Other companies have already made software for those phones that works with Skype, but it does not offer all of the service’s features.

As with Skype on the computer, users of Skype on mobile phones can make calls and send instant messages to other Skype users free, and they pay lower rates than the phone companies would charge when they use Skype to call landlines or other mobile phones.This year, Skype announced versions of its software for Nokia phones and phones runningMicrosoft’s Windows Mobile and Google’s Android operating systems.

Apple will limit Skype’s use on the iPhone somewhat, allowing Skype calls to be made only when the device is connected to local Wi-Fi networks, and not allowing Skype calls over the data networks of its carrier partners like AT&T. Apple imposes the same restrictions on all voice applications in its App Store.

The idea of bringing Skype to mobile phones has always been viewed by cellular operators as potentially threatening. It opens up the possibility that people will use their data plans to make calls using Skype, instead of the more expensive and profitable voice minutes on the carriers’ cellular networks.

“The carriers are in the business of selling voice minutes. For a long time they saw products like Skype coming along and they were concerned,” said Ben Wood, director of Research at the London-based CCS Insight, a market research firm. “But it turned out a little bit different than they expected.”

Mr. Wood said many carriers had modified their views about so-called voice-over-Internet-protocol, or VoIP, services. In some cases, Skype has proved to be appealing to consumers and a competitive advantage for a carrier over its rivals.

Skype tested its service in London in the last two years with Hutchison 3, a British mobile network. It said it drew more customers to Hutchison 3 and increased its revenue for each user, since people were making calls on their cellphones using Skype that high calling rates would have discouraged otherwise.

Scott Durchslag, Skype’s chief operating officer, said he did not think the limitations on using Skype on the iPhone would be a big drawback for users, since Wi-Fi networks have become common.

However, he said he hoped Apple and AT&T would relax restrictions and let people make Skype calls anywhere they roamed. “We think these things should work on any device, any network, at any time,” he said.

One thought on “Skype, the Web Phone Giant, Brings Cheap Calls to Cellular

  1. The Skype and Paypal issues are only diversionary tactics! When are the stockholders going to realize that ebay’s CEO is taking them for HUGE fools??? He touts, “Don’t look at ebay’s numbers. I’ve got a new plan”, but the “new plan” is STILL to kill ebay, ebay Inc.’s bread & butter. “Here, look at Paypal and ignore how I am destroying ebay’s core and millions of what WOULD have been future patrons”. Get rid of him before there is nothing left to save of ebay or your money!

    Read what his own employees think of him at glassdoor.com. Read the sentiments of (ex) ebay users by searching the internet for Terminate ebay’s CEO, John Donahoe at petitiononline.com

    It’s time to look out for YOUR best interests and fire the person responsible for YOUR losses!

    Educate yourselves about what ebay’s CEO, John Donahoe is REALLY doing to ebay Inc! Because of Donahoe’s policies, sellers are constantly getting their items stolen from them by their buyers with the help of ebay Inc. and Paypal! Donahoe’s policies are aiding thieving sellers shill bid against honest buyers! The site has turned into nothing more than a free-for-all for scammers from both sides. The honest buyers and sellers are leaving by the droves and if you really care about your money, I’d suggest you look at the REAL facts rather than buying into Donahoe’s smoke and mirror parlor tricks! Take a good long hard look at ebay’s recent decline and pay particular notice to the FACT that it began when Donahoe and Whitman teamed up with their “Disruptive Innovation” scheme against ebay. To hide the reality, ebay is purging it’s boards by deleting honest posts and by suspending all members who dare post the truths about ebay’s deceitful practices.

    Search the internet for this title, then decide how long you want your name connected to such a corrupt business: “Battle over bag: Seller loses out in online sale”.

    Millions of online shoppers and sellers have already left, more are leaving. Either take your money out of this stock or fire Donahoe to save your investments!

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