Home > General > Mobile Phones to Pick up Skype/VoIP Fights

Mobile Phones to Pick up Skype/VoIP Fights

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

With the recent announcement that Verizon Wireless and Skype have formed a strategic partnership to bring Skype to the company’s smartphones next month, industry observers are left wondering what other wireless operators might join the group.

With a list far surpassing the number of mobile operators that are blocking the service than those that accept it, Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype, is trying to remain optimistic, the New York Times reported.
“The two operators that have really embraced us are ‘3’ in Europe and Verizon Wireless in the United States,” Silverman said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “But we are making progress and operators are beginning to change their attitudes.”
In an era where “network neutrality” has become the rallying cry for restricton-free Internet, a service like Skype is a good example of the limitations that wireless services face, the report said.
In the United States, mobile networks have blocked Skype, and the service is available on iPhone over WiFi. AT&T reportedly announced plans to permit Skype on its 3G network, but Skype has not made the application available or disclosed the terms of the deal, The New York Times said.
Meanwhile in Europe, the company 3 carries Skype in the U.K., Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Italy and Sweden. However, many operators block the calls and prohibit customers from downloading the software, the report said.
But Silverman has hope for the future. With the number of Internet-ready mobile phones projected to surpass computers by 2013, the barriers to such VoIP services as Google Voice are now coming under scrutiny, the Times said.
“The Skype-Verizon announcement demonstrates that mobile operators are beginning to change their attitude,” Dario Talmesio, an analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, a research concern based in London, toid the Times “However, the majority of mobile operators have yet to make a firm decision. Blocking VoIP is a short-sighted strategy.”
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