Skype's new VoIP client a big deal for cellcos

Robert Clark
01 Jun 2010

Skype has updated its iPhone client, which means users can now make VoIP over 3G calls.

This is a big deal for operators on two counts.

First, although the calls are currently free, Skype says it will work up price packages “in the coming months.

”Likewise Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G are free, but will also carry a price tag from next year. Clearly that’s an opportunity for operators to bundle Skype packages with voice and data plans.

Bear in mind that 30 million people have bought iPhones, many of them both early adopters and heavy IDD users. Skype is the largest carrier of international voice minutes and, with 560 million users, is bigger than Facebook.

This is also a big deal because of the improvements Skype has made to the app. It is now faster to boot up and provides access to the dial pad from the home screen.

But much more important is the improved “CD-quality” voice. Judging by the early reaction, that’s no small deal either.

Andy Abramson on the Working Anywhere blog, says that if Skype over Wi-Fi was equivalent to FM, the “new Skype with Silk Codec over 3G is CD quality.”

“My experience was nothing short of a teenager's first time. First kiss. First drink. First whatever. It was very, very different.

“This tells me that Skype has more than likely been working very closely with Apple to get the audio right.”

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