Feeds

Skype not ready for mobility

Mobile chief says network tariffs make it impractical

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.