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3GSM Skype has clinched a deal with Hutchinson that paves the way for cheaper VoIP calls to be offered on the Hutchison 3G networks. Limited trials, which have begun in Sweden, are expected to precede a wider launch in Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, the UK and Italy by the end of the year.

In an effort to scope user demand, 3 Sweden is offering a Skype bundle with a 3G flat-rate subscription and 3G data card. With a mobile flat-rate data plan from Hutchison 3, users can make unlimited Skype calls. Christian Salbaing, MD of Europe Telecommunications at Hutchison 3, downplayed concerns that Skype traffic would cannibalise voice revenues. He described it as an attractive value added service that would help tempt more customers onto its network.

At a press conference at the 3GSM conference on Tuesday, Skype also launched a new version of its software for Pocket PC devices, Skype for Pocket PC 2.0. The software is designed to work on any Windows Mobile Pocket PC running Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003 or Windows Mobile 5.0 and is equipped with an internal Wi-Fi or 3G radio. Skype for Pocket PC will be available preloaded on a number of devices including an Asus MyPal GPS PDA, BenQ P50, E-TEN M600, Dopod 700, i-mate PDA2, PDA2K, JASJAR and Qtek 9000 and 9090. Users of other supported devices, including Various HP iPAQ models and Pocket PCs from Dell and Fujitsu, can obtain the software as a free download. ®

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