Feb, 16 2010

Verizon Wireless USED to be one of the most closed, protective carriers on the planet, suffocating features so their users would have to pay extra for them. With the introduction of the Motorola Droid, that paradigm seemed to shift in a HUGE way. People were fearful they would limit Android – but they didn’t. Now, instead of simply allowing/inviting something that’s open, Verizon Wireless is going on the offensive like never before.

Starting next month, Verizon Smartphone users with data plans will enjoy free and unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls to anyone on the planet. And you’ll enjoy amazingly cheap Skype International calls as well. All this from Verizon Wireless’ 3G network.

skype-logo verizon-logo

Holy smokes – THIS is a huge move. It will be interesting to see how the company deals with potential “caps” on what they call “unlimited data” plans. I really have no idea where this will take us… but I bet you it will take other carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile into a decision making room where they decide they have to do the same. But will their networks buckle under the data pressure?

Skype Mobile will be offered on all 3 Verizon Android Phones – the Motorola Droid, Motorola Devour and HTC Droid Eris – as well as several other smartphones. At least for starters.

Here is the full press release:

BARCELONA, SPAIN; BASKING RIDGE, NJ, 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.

[Verizon Wireless via Engadget via AndroidForums, Thanks CRPercodani]

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