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Saturday, October 11, 2008

SkypeOut Feature Added to 3's Skype-Enabled Phones

Mobile carrier pioneer 3 has taken another step that reduces costs for mobile calling worldwide from any of the Skype-enabled mobile phone handsets in their offering. Effectively it means that 3's customers can not only make free calls to other Skype contacts but also to any landline and mobile worldwide via an implementation of a SkypeOut type of service at SkypeOut rates. Skype-to-Skype calls remain totally free as well as Skype Instant Messaging activity.

As a result 3's pricing plans and policy covers monthly subscribers and pay-as-you-go customers. For the latter a top-up will now provide ninety days of free Skype access. Most importantly there are no extra charges from 3 for using SkypeOut. And the fair use policy still applies. These plans apply to the two Skypephones as well as several models of both Nokia E-series/N-series phones and Sony Ecrisson phones.

What is 3's motivation to do this?

  • They have no connection charges for Skype-to-Skype calls
  • 3 will receive revenues through Skype's affiliate marketing program or a similar arrangement for SkypeOut calls.
  • It is a key marketing tool for low cost recruiting of customers, building on their previous "Free Skype call" marketing activities.
With the forthcoming launch of Blackberry Bold at 3, similar customer benefits can be obtained using iSkoot, although without carrier support, there may be additional charges to access an iSkoot point-of-presence.

3 continues to pioneer development of business models for the incorporation of Skype into the mobile conversations world. 3's services are available in U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Hong Kong and Australia.

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