Verizon Wireless To Allow Skype On Its Networks

Verizon Wireless has become the first major US mobile network provider to allow anyone with a data service package to run popular VoIP package Skype (and possibly others as well).

The deal will see Verizon Wireless bring the service to nine Blackberry and Android smartphones and has been hailed by some as a major moment in phone history.

Customers will need to have a data plan to be able to use the service and they may also call normal fixed or mobile phones using the Skype Out service. There's also the added benefit of being able to receive calls through Skype In and the fact that there is a video chat as well.

Skype has been explicitly banned from a number of mobile phone networks because it not only uses up precious bandwidth but also, networks claimed, siphoned revenues generated from domestic and international calls.

But the likes of 3 Networks have proved this theory to be largely wrong. In fact it is the reverse that appears to happen and in addition, carriers that offer VoIP services are often seen as being more innovative and likely to attract customers from rival networks.

Interestingly, Verizon Wireless has not yet announced any partnership with manufacturers of phone that carry Skype natively, such as the Hutchinson Whampoa backed INQ or Amoi.

Our Comments

The fact that the devices on which Skype will be rolled out are mainstream to high-end rather than entry level ones show that Verizon Wireless might be showing caution. However, this is a double-edged gamble; on one side, these users could either adopt Skype massively or they could prefer to avoid the hassle of using yet another voice service.

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