Feeds

Skype not ready for mobility

Mobile chief says network tariffs make it impractical

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Skype's head of mobile access has said that until network operators stop charging by the quantity of data transmitted then Skype won't be available on mobile phones.

Skype is a popular VoIP service which offers free calls to other Skype users, but if the user is paying their network operator for the data they use then the calls can be anything but free.

"We don't want to be in a situation where we say: 'Skype is free' and then at the end of the month the user gets this huge broadband bill," Eric Lagier told Reuters at CES.

When the idea of Skype on 3G was first mooted many networks responded that it wasn't a problem: given the amount they intended to charge for data they would make more money on a Skype call than a normal voice connection. But with the emergence of Wi-Fi networks, and Wi-Fi-capable handsets, unlimited connectivity is available; and with the promise of free calls such connectivity could challenge the dominance of network operators.

All this seems to make sense, until you remember that T-Mobile already offers a largely unlimited tariff with Web 'n' Walk (capped, like most ADSL broadband connections), and that 3 are already offering unlimited Skype calls – though they aren't doing proper VoIP as they depend on the voice channel for the wireless portion of the connection.

So it might seem that this is just an excuse to draw attention to the problems Skype has had getting its software ported to mobile phone handsets. Competitive products such as Truephone work on Nokia N-Series handsets, so it can be done. Fring is even integrated with the Skype network, albeit though a gateway, and works perfectly well over the T-Mobile network.

Doing without that gateway might be complicated: the Skype protocol was never intended to work on mobile phones, and problems have been reported in the past, so it's easy to believe that technical problems, rather than business needs, lie at the back of this pronouncement.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.