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Nokia teams up with Skype

Nokia teams up with Skype

Although mobile provider 3 has reported revenue increases since bundling Skype, many providers see VoIP as a threat to call revenue.

Nokia is about to see just how much sway it has with mobile providers following news that it is to start bundling eBay's Skype voice-over-IP software with its new handsets.

According to an article published by Reuters – via Wired.com – the Finnish mobile giant has entered into an agreement with the eBay-owned Skype to preload its voice-over-IP software into a selection of its smartphones towards the end of this year – starting with the N-97.

The software will be directly integrated into the handset, unlike the third-party downloadable version which is currently offered by Skype for certain platforms – meaning such features as a shared address book and instant calling from the telephone's main screen.

This, of course, is something which terrifies mobile providers: if you can make a call cheaply – or even for free – via a voice-over-IP system, that's call revenue which is going straight down the drain. It's for this reason that many providers seek to block the use of VoIP technologies on many of their tariffs – and provide custom firmware which removes any pre-installed packages that would allow Internet-based calling.

Skype claims that providers have nothing to worry about, however: chief executive Josh Silverman cites an earlier deal with the 3 network which saw average revenue per customer rise by twenty percent with the introduction of voice-over-IP technology onto handsets – mostly by users being encouraged to switch to pay-monthly all-inclusive data plans, which also drove use of the provider's other service offerings.

It's still a hard sell for both companies, however: many mobile providers still see call revenue as critical to their bottom line. For this reason it will be interesting to see just how many provider-branded versions of the N-97 come with Skype software pre-installed.

Do you think that voice-over-IP on a mobile telephone is a great idea or a waste of time? Are mobile providers right to resist the idea? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

6 Comments

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Nedsbeds 18th February 2009, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
: many mobile providers still see call revenue as critical to their bottom line.
I think the extortianate prices they charge for text messages probably make up the majority of the bottom line to be honest!
Xir 18th February 2009, 14:19 Quote
Data "Flats" for mobile devices are so expensive over here, it's not worth considering this unless you phone A LOT.
MajestiX 18th February 2009, 16:40 Quote
isnt the price of mobile data more expensive than a call?

here is Aus if you go over your limit they charge like 50c a MB or sometimes upto $2

theres no suprises with bills of $500+ because people go and play around on their mobile phone and never signed up for any "web access packages" even though all the phones they offer are web enabled.

I see that as heres a phone it was Skype we wont tell you to sign up to any special plans or the user doesn't have skype.
user goes home and gets curious about skype.
user uses the service.
gets a bill on $300.
gets force onto a data plan for voip service and pays extra fees everymonth

how exactly don't phone companies win?
Bursar 18th February 2009, 17:43 Quote
If you're out and about, then yeah, data is going to be expensive. But most phones are now coming with wifi, which means you can use your home (or office) wireless network to make free calls.
antiHero 19th February 2009, 09:47 Quote
Seems like a good deal for me. Dataplans are only around 10€ around here, but you cant get a dataplan without a phone plan of atleast 10€. And the free wifi in the city center is almost everywhere.
I need to get a new phone :)
wuyanxu 15th July 2009, 14:38 Quote
as long as the phone have wi-fi, having skype on mobile is fantastic.

always i used skype on my iphone to call 0800 (use +44800) and other friends who are on skype. saves battery, quick, no computer needed and best of all, free.
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