Article is here:
Verizon Embraces Skype on Smartphones | Epicenter | Wired.com
Verizon users with expensive smart phones will soon be able to make cheap phone calls, thanks to a partnership with the popular peer-to-peer calling company Skype announced Tuesday.
Starting in late March, Verizon smartphone users can download the Skype Mobile client that will let them use the phone’s 3G connection to make unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls, send IM through Skype and make cheap international calls using Skype’s internet voice service. Skype is now the world’s largest phone company, handling more voice minutes than any other telecom in the world — despite not owning a network of copper cables or owning any spectrum.
Mobile operators have long resisted letting Skype run on “their” phones — fearing the disruptive, cut-rate service would cut into the money they make selling by-the-minute voice plans and up-charging for SMS messages. They’ve also argued that Skype’s protocols overwhelm mobile phone towers, even when calls aren’t being made.
AT&T and Apple notoriously blocked Skype from using the iPhone’s 3G connection, effectively crippling the application. Skype has been pushing the FCC for years to require phone operators to open up their systems the way AT&T had to in the 1960s — letting any application and device connect, not just the ones pre-approved by the telecom.
AT&T relented on the ban on VoIP applications this fall after the FCC investigated and smelled anti-competitive behavior. Skype said earlier this month that it will release an iPhone app in the very near future.
With an FCC already set to impose some variant on those rules on the mobile industry, it seems that Verizon has decided to embrace change rather than fighting it. Perhaps they’ll find that letting users do what they like with their phones will make them more loyal — and more likely to spend even more on their data plans than they did when Verizon felt the need to control and cripple every device that connected to one of its towers.
The Skype Mobile app will be available first for these Blackberry and Android phones.
BlackBerry® Storm™ 9530
BlackBerry Storm2™ 9550
BlackBerry Curve™ 8330
BlackBerry Curve™ 8530
BlackBerry 8830 World Edition
BlackBerry Tour™ 9630
DROID by Motorola
DROID ERIS™ by HTC
Read More Verizon Embraces Skype on Smartphones | Epicenter | Wired.com