Feeds

SkypeOut goes mobile, Skype goes beta

Whither 3 now?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

UK operator 3 is to allow Skype users to make international calls with their SkypeOut minutes, bypassing the operator completely, while the VoIP pioneer's desktop client continues its slow progress towards version 4 with a new beta release.

Punters equipped with a Skypephone, or compatible handset such as an N95 or C902 on 3, are already able to call up other Skype users for free. But from today they'll also be able to make international calls using the Skype network with the rate being deduced from their SkypeOut minutes.

The customer will be able to choose if a call should be handled by Skype or the traditional 3 network, and will pay appropriate rates. Chief Executive at 3 Kevin Russell said: "Although 3 customers enjoy the best value international calling tariffs in the UK, we know that people are apprehensive about using their mobiles to call internationally, especially as international minutes aren’t typically included in mobile calling bundles."

Skype is having a good week, with a new beta of its desktop client including system-tray alerts and drag-and-drop file transfer, as well as automatic grouping of contacts for those who have too many friends to manage manually. Skype are bucking a trend by releasing a beta, gathering feedback, and then releasing an improved beta while working towards a final version - not very Web 2.0 at all really, much more like a telecommunications company.

While Skype users on 3 won't be able to make calls to UK numbers using their SkypeOut minutes - at least not yet - the deal is still significant. One can only imagine 3 has established that not many Skypephone users are making international calls, otherwise the loss of revenue would be hard to justify.

The deal is particularly interesting as 3 uses a normal GSM voice circuit to connect Skype calls, which then pass through a gateway at 3's offices - so calls made using Skype might be free to the punter, but to 3's network they are indistinguishable from normal voice calls.

When the calls were only to other Skype users then it wasn't really a problem, but allowing Skype to collect revenue from 3 customers is a significant risk - and could see 3 reduced to the status of an internet service provider. That would be something of a come-down for a company that once billed itself as being in the "mobile media" business. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
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
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing 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.