Skype-to-skype by mobile phone.
A nice addition to previous posts on this blog by Laura en Daphne on ‘skype alternatives’, here a pro-skype announcement. Today, mobile phone company 3 unveiled its Skypephone, which supports free calls over the internet with the use of Skype. Here a summary of some pros and cons from the web:
- Guardian Unlimited: “3, owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, will use its own mobile network to carry VoIP (voice-over-internet protocol) calls. This should mean the service is better quality than mobile VoIP calls that are carried over the public internet.”
- CNN: ” 3’s U.K. Chief Executive Kevin Russell said that due to the cheap pricing of the phone, he hopes to make internet telephony more appealing to the mass market.”
- ITPro: “unlike the traditional Skype service, the Skypephone does not allow users to make cheap global calls to other phone numbers.” This contradicts however what Frank Sixt, finance director of 3-owner Hutchison Whampoa, told reporters: “(…) the phone’s non-Skype tariffs were the same as on its other phones, with call minutes and texts priced the same way, and the phone will have a special Skype button” (Reuters.com)
- ITPro: “In order to qualify for Skype calls, customers will need to top up their account with at least ё10 each month, or be on a contract.“
- Both callers need to have a Skype account and software. Of course this is free downloadable, but “alternatively they can create a Skype account directly from their 3 Skypephone”(press release).
- Will Skype by phone keep all of its original Skype-features? Of course I cannot answer this question yet, for you have to use it to find this out. But already on the forum of 3skypephone questions like “Is it possible to have group calls via the new skypephone?” are asked.
- The extinction of the word ‘phone’. Although this isn’t a result of just the Skypephone, it does showcase why by its supported features: Free Skype, Facebook, 3MusicStore, Yahoo! Search, Google Search, Google YouTube, Google Mail, Games and eBay. The phone of the future isn’t a phone anymore, it’s a personalized computer. And the consequences for the service providers themselves is well put in the CNN article: ” If 3 customers make phone calls via Skype, Hotmail for messaging, Google for search and YouTube for television, the operator could be undermining its position as a service provider, said Delaney. “What do you need your mobile operator for? The answer could turn out to be: subsidising phones, carrying data packets, and dealing with problems and complaints. Does that add up to an attractive business?” questioned Delaney.”