Skype Launches New 3G VoIP App for iPhone

Skype announced the launch of the new version of its iPhone application. Available to download from the Apple App Store, the new update allows iPhone users to make and receive Skype-to-Skype calls and to call mobiles and landlines around the world over a 3G data connection.

According to a press release, Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will be free for a trial period, which will run until the end of 2010. The company said details on pricing will be announced in the coming months and will “be in line with commitment to providing customers with great value.”
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Skype slashes rates for international wireline, wireless calls Company also testing group video chat function

Skype this week will start offering plans to let users call international wireline and wireless phones at significantly lower rates than its current pay-as-you-go services.
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Verizon Plan Requirements Won’t Change With Skype

Once the shock of seeing Skype on Verizon Wireless phones wears off, it may look like not much has changed: Subscribers who want to use the application will face the same required service plans.
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Skype On Verizon: So Who Needs A Voice Plan?

Tuesday’s announcement that Verizon Wireless will allow its subscribers to make Skype calls on nine of its smartphones is a telling sign where the mobile industry is heading. If you connect the dots, the traditional wireless voice plan appears to be an endangered species. Its demise may not arrive overnight, or even in a couple of years, but its days are numbered.

At first glance, it might appear that Skype, an inexpensive VoIP phone service that operates over data networks, would eliminate the need for a Verizon voice plan. It won’t work that way, however, as Skype calls will be routed over Verizon’s voice network. And even if Skype didn’t use the carrier’s voice network, Verizon might very well still require its smartphone customers to buy a voice plan. After all, wireless providers still get a sizable chunk of their revenue from voice services. That may change soon, however.

LTE: The Game-Changer

The implementation LTE (Long Term Evolution), or 4G, mobile networks, in addition to ongoing standardization efforts to deliver voice over LTE, may change the traditional voice-and-data plan choice for smartphone users. But don’t expect a change overnight.

“We’ll eventually get there, but I don’t believe we’ll see the demise of the traditional voice plans that we’ve had for a long time,” says Francis Sideco, a wireless communications analyst for iSuppli.

For handsets, data-only plans are a few years off, says Sideco. The dismantling of mobile voice networks wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of today’s per-minute (or unlimited) voice plans.

Technically speaking, there’s no reason why a wireless carrier couldn’t charge on a per-minute basis on an LTE network. “Skype now charges you on a per-minute basis, and they’re fully voice over IP,” Sideco points out.

The iPad’s Impact

The arrival of mobile devices that aren’t smartphones, including the iPad and similar tablets, will make data-only wireless plans more common.

“Once Verizon’s first LTE sites are up, there’s no reason why a device such as an iPad or some other tablet couldn’t implement voice with Skype on there,” says Sideco.

In that scenario, wireless subscribers with data-only plans could potentially make audio or video calls via Skype, for instance.

Depending on how things play out, your wireless plan in a few years may look very different than it does today. Whether it’s any cheaper remains to be seen.

Skype on Verizon Smartphones: The Good, the Bad

Skype on Verizon Smartphones: The Good, the BadVerizon Wireless and Skype seem like strange bedfellows. But a newly-announced partnership between the two will mostly be a boon for consumers with some drawbacks. When Skype Mobile launches in March, select Verizon phones will be able to make free calls to Skype users and cheap international calls over Verizon’s voice network. While this will certainly help some people save money without sacrificing call quality, there are a couple of downsides. Here’s the good and the bad:
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Skype Adds Calling to Mobile Phones

Skype announced yesterday software that can be used with 50 Java-enabled mobile phones made by Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson to receive calls from the Skype network and to SkypeIn phone numbers on the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Outgoing calls placed to Skype users and via SkypeOut, its gateway for outbound PSTN calling, will work just in six countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and the UK) as well as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
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Benefits of Skype Mobile on Verizon

Verizon and Skype has made good on the promised partnership announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. Using another industry conference, the CTIA show in Las Vegas last month, Verizon announced that Skype will be available for nine different smartphones this week, with more to come.
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