Skype Goes Mobile: unlimited communications, Anywhere, Anytime
Skype is breaking new ground in making unlimited high-quality Internet communications available anywhere, anytime through global partnerships with leading mobile operators and device makers, and new versions of its software for mobile devices.
With Skype in their pockets, people will be able to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues wherever they go – at home, at work or on the move. There will be no need for a PC in order to be part of the global Skype community.
In addition to mobile Internet calling, Skype on mobile devices will enable people to chat with their contacts around the world using Skype Instant Messaging (IM), and share their availability through ‘Skype presence’. Contacts will be automatically synchronized between the mobile device and the PC.
2005 was the year Skype brought Internet communications to more than 75 million registered PC users: 2006 is set to be the year Skype goes mobile.
Three milestone announcements
To kick off the year that ‘Skype goes mobile’, Skype is making three key announcements at 3GSM World Congress.
First, Skype is announcing that 3G mobile operator Hutchison 3 is set to offer Skype-enabled mobile devices in several of its markets around the world – a combination that is sure to delight mobile users.
Second, Skype is releasing Skype for Pocket PC 2.0, which lets people Skype on the move with any Windows Mobile Pocket PC wireless device. The following are some of the many Pocket PC devices that support Skype for Pocket PC 2.0: Several HP iPAQ models, Dell X3i, X30, X50, X50v, x51 and x51v models, Fujitsu Siemens Computers Pocket LOOX N520, 718 and 720 models. Skype for Pocket PC will be available preloaded on a number of devices including: Asus MyPal A636, BenQ P50, E-TEN M600, Dopod 700, i-mate PDA2, PDA2K, JASJAR and Qtek 9000 and 9090.
Third, Skype is announcing a new distribution and retail programme with Dangaard Telecom that will give it a huge new retail presence in Europe ¬- giving Skype Certified products the potential to reach shoppers across more than 34,000 European retailers.
These three announcements are part of a drive by Skype to extend its reach, and build a global ecosystem of mobile devices, mobile operators, distributors and retailers.
Putting Skype in every pocket
Skype has already announced partnerships with 3 Sweden and E-Plus to bundle Skype software with 3G data cards and flat-rate data subscriptions, to offer unlimited high-quality Skype calling over 3G mobile networks. With the new global partnership with Hutchison 3, Skype is extending its reach to additional markets and is commencing trials of Skype for mobile devices.
Skype is working with a number of leading mobile device makers to offer operators and end-customers an extensive choice of Skype-enabled mobile devices and accessories. The updated version of Skype for Pocket PC 2.0 is available for download from the Skype website.
Skype software for other mobile device platforms will be announced as soon as Skype has successfully completed friendly-user tests with its mobile operator partners.
What’s in it for mobile operators?
Skype on mobile devices opens up the opportunity for mobile operators to tap into the global Skype community of 75 million people. It enables them to capitalize on the growing demand for Skype and extend it into the mobile environment. By successfully promoting compelling new subscription plans and packages that include Skype, operators will be able to attract new users and boost uptake of other value-added services.
People on Skype are seeking mobile devices that enable them to stay in touch with their Skype friends and family around the world. Skype will let them do that using voice calls and chat directly from their mobile devices. Skype is a well recognized global brand: it conveys innovation, simplicity and friendliness. By partnering and co-branding with Skype, operators can leverage this globally successful brand.
Skype offers a powerful new platform on which mobile operators can build their next-generation converged communications offerings – encouraging loyalty, improving application ‘stickiness’ and driving higher levels of mobile usage.
What’s in it for Skype?
Going mobile is a top priority for Skype – the 75 million-plus members of our global community have sent a strong message that they want to communicate with their Skype friends through presence, IM, and voice calls on their personal mobile devices – wherever they are.
Skype’s partnerships with mobile network operators and mobile device makers are bringing the mobile Internet communications experience to this enthusiastic community – and adding enhanced services to delight all mobile users.
By going mobile, Skype is extending its reach into an addressable market nearly double the size of the existing fixed Internet user base.
Multiple channels to market
Skype will now have three distinct channels to market: through mobile operators, through preinstalling Skype on devices from leading manufacturers and retailers, and through online downloads.
Mobile operators, such as Hutchison 3, will be offering mobile devices bundled with dedicated Skype plans.
The Skype website will continue to be the point where users can download and install Skype for Pocket PC on to their devices. Skype is reinforcing its online distribution by partnering with companies like Handango, the leading mobile content provider.
Skype will be available preloaded on, or bundled with, Skype Certified mobile devices sold through the Skype distribution and retail network. Skype is working with leading distributors, like Dangaard, Brightpoint and Brightstar, and retailers like Radioshack to provide an excellent channel for distribution of Skype products and devices.
A number of mobile accessory providers, including Plantronics and Motorola are offering Skype Certified companion products.