Skype For iPhone Illegal On O2's UK Network?

Ebay is set to officially launch its hugely popular Skype VoIP client tomorrow for Apple's iPhone platform but is likely to be met with an icy welcome by partnering mobile phone networks.

According to their terms and conditions, UK iPhone Partner, O2 still prohibits the use of applications that "allow the continuous streaming of any audio/video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing", which would certainly exclude Skype (ed: errr, doesn't this also exclude Youtube as well?).

It is very likely that most mobile networks will only allow Skype on iPhone to work on Wi-Fi connections which will may reduce its attractiveness. The iPod Touch can already be converted into a WiFi camera-less iPhone thanks to Truphone or Fring VoIP application.

The announcement is expected to be made at this week's Wireless Association's CTIA conference and should include the iPhone and the latest iPod Touch which comes with a built-in microphone.

The iPhone client is expected to offer Instant Messaging capabilities as well as conference call functionality. Users will also be able to buy SkypeOut credit straight from their iPhones to be able to make cheaper Skype calls.

Skype has also announced that it will be releasing a Blackberry application in May and a Sony Xperia X1 app later. It already covers Windows Mobile, Symbian and Google Android.

The Ebay-owned VoIP company has already signed an exclusive agreement with Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia at the Mobile World Congress 2009 to bundle Skype as an integrated application in future mobile smartphones.

Bringing Skype on the iPhone will ensure the presence of the former on almost all major mobile platforms.

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Our Comments

The only major phone network that allows Skype freely over their mobile networks is Hutchinson Whampoa who owns 3. The firm went as far as building a phone, the INQ1, exclusively for Skype. However, Skype for the iPhone also opens the prospect of Hutchinson bringing the iPhone to its network in a not-too-far future.

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