Image via CrunchBase
Skype is going to the regulator OFCOM in the UK to ask them to have some of the mobile operators in the UK to stop blocking Skype calls over 3G. While 3 in the UK doesn't stop Skype calling over 3G, and actually had a service that worked much like Verizon' Wireless' here in the USA based on the iSkoot technology initially, calling over 3G/4G has been more of a crapshoot for Skype users in most countries. The problem is even worse for those who choose to use prepaid.
My view is this. Microsoft is viewing the mobile operators with more favor these days. Already they have global initiatives underway with AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica and Deutche Telekom (with more to follow) to be the channel of distribution for Microsoft products and services--this is everything from XBox, Kinnect, Office365, to the enterprise services. Skype will eventually a part of that same effort, if it isn't already. This two pronged effort is all geared to make sure the Skype's peer to peer and presence technology, not simply Skype itself works over the data side of the carriers.
Always remember, that when it comes to Microsoft, there's more to what they are doing. So while everyone is looking left, at their actions, it's really what they're doing quietly on the right that matters.
I like the moves they're making and see it as a good thing long term for consumers and business people across the UK and EU.