Skype Deal Officially Closed - Now A Microsoft Division
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Skype on Three-Me Too, Me Also, No Longer Me Different

Skype Technologies S.A. logoImage via Wikipedia

It started few years ago. Skype worked with 3 in the UK and elsewhere with a special Skype handset manufactured by INQ and software from iSkoot (now owned by Qualcomm.) Skype worked and worked flawlessly. Uptake was enormous and 3G data took off like a fourth of July firecracker.

Now 3 no longer has the same Skype service in the UK or in most other parts of the world. And, it wasn't their call. It was Skype's according to two different 3 retail management executives spoken to since Saturday. It seems as one said "Skype used us to prove a point. That there was a market for it in mobile."

I agree. But like so many sideline projects that "proved things" now Skype is back to being just a IM based calling service online with a few hooks to the PSTN.

Now if you want to make Skype calls on 3 you have to download an app, hope it works and hope you're in 3G range. Before it worked over the circuit switched network...just like it does today (for now) on Verizon Wireless in the USA on a few handsets.

Any bets on what stops working next?


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Really its trying to prove that there was a market for it in mobile.

James Body

After reading this article I dug one of my INQ handsets out of the desk drawer and fired it up.

The good news is that the H3G UK Skype service (which uses the iSkoot gateways) is still fully functioning on a pre-pay SIM that I have never topped up!

Voice and IM Chat work quickly and efficiently.

I hope that it continues to work!


And now customers on 3, by downloading current versions of the Skype client, can make video calls on iOS devices and Android. These clients have also had recent upgrades to provide additional features that are not available on the legacy 3 service. In other words you have closer to a complete Skype experience. But, if nothing else, video calling alone makes it "Me Different".

The real question here is what happens to using Skype on BlackBerry. While the current carrier-specific service on 3 (and Verizon) supports certain models of BlackBerry, there is no carrier-independent Skype for BlackBerry client.

Also this is a natural progression as networks evolve to LTE where there are the speeds really required to handle Skype chat, voice and video over data plans.

Oh, and with a client-based Skype I can make calls using Skype to a Skype user on any Skype-supported device - PC, Mobile, TV, etc.

Finally there is another advantage for 3 - they no longer have to support the servers that connect a Skype call using this service to the voice channel.

One other consideration from the customer side: do they still get the same wireless plans associated with using Skype on 3?

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