Any convert to Skype knows that the free Internet phone service can help shave the monthly phone bill, especially for international calls. Now Verizon is making Skype available to certain smartphones so its customers can use the free-ish calling service to make calls nationwide and around the globe.
The Voice-over-Internet-Protocol service begins in March and is limited to Verizon customers with data plans and one of nine smart phones. Those phones are the BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition and Tour 9630 smartphones, the DROID by Motorola, DROID ERIS by HTC and the Motorola DEVOUR.
Verizon customers can sign up to be notified when the service is ready at verizonwireless.com/skypemobile or at Skype’s site, skype.com/mobile/reminder.
For the unfamiliar, Skype is often used to make phone calls on a computer. Anyone can download the free software and begin making calls for free to other Skype users. To call a regular non-Skype number, users can subscribe to Skype Out — $2.95/month for unlimited calls in U.S., prices vary for international calls. Skype is also handy for video chats and instant messaging.
Skype on a cell phone does expand the possibilities of saving money. You finally may be able to get rid of the home telephone. Or even go with a lower cell phone plan since Skype minutes don’t use up mobile minutes. However, Skype Mobile users must subscribe to a Verizon data plan, which could add another $30 or more a month.
Verizon isn’t the only one offering VoIP, points out AT&T. While the company’s iPhone had a little spat with Skype and other VoIP providers last year, AT&T says that several months ago, it told Apple it had no objection to its approval of a VoIP app on the iPhone. In fact, AT&T says it doesn’t prohibit or block VoIP calls on its 2G, 3G or Wi-Fi networks. The Skype iPhone app is available HERE.
Skype is also available for phones with the Symbian operating system, the Sony Playstation Portable and a handful of Nokia phones. Skype Lite, with fewer features, is also available for several Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones.
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