Next month, nine Verizon smartphones with accompanying 3G plans will be able to make unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls, as well as call out to regular phones internationally at a reduced rate. UPDATE
UPDATE: However, it appears the service is pretty gimped as you can't call Skype out to regular lines domestically in order to save minutes. Even on AT&T (of all carriers), the fring iPhone app allows Skype-out calling (even though the Skype app still technically does not). When Verizon allows domestic Skype-out, we'll celebrate in full.
BARCELONA, Spain; BASKING RIDGE, N.J., United States; and LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg – At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon Wireless and Skype today announced a strategic relationship that will bring Skype to Verizon Wireless smartphones in March. The new Skype mobile™ product enhances Verizon Wireless' smartphones for users who have data plans by offering a new way to call around the globe, while also giving hundreds of millions of Skype users around the world the opportunity to communicate with friends, family and business colleagues in the United States using Verizon Wireless.
The two companies have created an exclusive, easy-to-use Skype mobile offering for 3G smartphones. Verizon Wireless 3G smartphone users with data plans can use Skype mobile to:
· make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user around the globe on America's most reliable wireless network;
· call international phone numbers at competitive Skype Out calling rates;
· send and receive instant messages to other Skype users; and
· remain always connected with the ability to see friends' online presence.
Initially, Skype mobile will be available on millions of best-selling Verizon Wireless 3G smartphones with data plans, including the BlackBerry® Storm™ 9530, Storm2™ 9550, Curve™ 8330, Curve™ 8530, 8830 World Edition and Tour™ 9630 smartphones, as well as DROID by Motorola, DROID ERIS™ by HTC and Motorola DEVOUR™.
John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless, said, "Skype mobile on Verizon Wireless changes the game. For Verizon Wireless' more than 90 million customers, Skype mobile adds great value because we're effectively giving customers with smartphones and data plans the option to extend their unlimited calling community to hundreds of millions of Skype users around the globe. And you're not limited to using a single type of phone; we'll have nine smartphones ready right at launch in March."
Josh Silverman, chief executive officer of Skype, noted, "People want to take their Skype conversations with them wherever they go, whether it's on a PC, TV or increasingly mobile phones. Verizon Wireless will give U.S. consumers the best Skype experience on mobile phones and will truly change the way people call their friends and family internationally."
Customers interested in learning more about Skype mobile for Verizon Wireless smartphones can visit www.verizonwireless.com/skypemobile. Additional information about the service will be available next month.
Visit www.verizonwireless.com for more information about Verizon Wireless or follow the company at http://twitter.com/verizonwireless. Learn more and download Skype at www.skype.com or follow the company at http://twitter.com/skypemobile.