February 17, 2010
James Middleton, Telecoms.com
Internet telephony provider Skype and US carrier Verizon Wireless have joined forces to create a global mobile calling community.
From March, US consumers will be able to get Skype on a wide range of Verizon phones, including the BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition and Tour 9630 smartphones, as well as Droid by Motorola, Eris by HTC and the Motorola Devour.
The service will allow users to make and receive unlimited free Skype-to-Skype voice calls and send and receive instant messages.
Commenting on the announcement, Dario Talmesio, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said: “The Skype/Verizon announcement demonstrates that mobile operators are beginning to change their attitude towards VoIP providers, they have gone from blocking to managing what they consider to be an issue. However, the majority of mobile operators have yet to make a firm decision, but market forces are such that mobile operators can’t avoid Internet-based VoIP.
“Those operators wanting to be serious players in the mobile Internet need to embrace openness and they need to allow Internet services on their devices - this includes VoIP. Blocking VoIP is a short sighted strategy. Those operators fearing VoIP providers need to be able to provide a compelling service competing with VoIP. Blocking VoIP simply doesn’t work for customers.”