Feeds

SkypeOut goes mobile, Skype goes beta

Whither 3 now?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.