One of the great things about being in Barcelona are the things you pick up. Here's some more details on the upcoming Skype and Verizon Wireless announcement that's due to come out tomorrow.
Contrary to what everyone is thinking Verizon is using circuit switched voice not 3G, ala what Three in the UK does. So the calls are really PSTN. Skype works with Level3 in the USA so that's how the calls will get handled, hitting the Level3 NOC somewhere like Atlanta or Denver, and then going over IP to the Skype user on the other end. The question is whether this is a home-grown Skype solution or another deployment solution from iSkoot which is used by THREE in the UK. There's also no SMS to or from the Skype client which some people use from their laptop or desktop client, but of course it has the usual IM functionality over 3G data for presence. That's how it will works from the contact list with the presence refreshing automatically. That piece will help Verizon Wireless sell more 3G data plans and more higher priced smartphones, getting the user base to migrate up from feature phones.
The devices that will be announced are the RIM Storm, Storm 2, Curve, Curve2, Tour and Tour2 and the 8830 World Edition Blackberry, plus all the Androids from Motorola and HTC sold via Verizon Wireless.
But here's the big downer.... WI-FI is reportedly NOT supported with the current release but will/may be supported in future releases. Based on what I've been able to stitch together here in Barcelona all is very similar to the Skype client software that was updated back in the fall and is being used on the INQ SkypePhone and SkypePhone2 Having used both of those phone for a while now, I have a leg up on most and knew which questions to ask sources at the show.
This means that the 3G client that Skype is reportedly working on for the iPhone will be the first, native 3G app out the door. Right now, Skype will work if you Jailbreak your iPhone and spoof the app to think that 3G is Wi-Fi...(now you wouldn't do that would you...)