Skype Brings VOIP Software to Sony Ericsson Smartphones

Skype's VOIP software will now run on Sony Ericsson's Satio, Vivaz and Vivaz Pro smartphones, which use the latest version of the Symbian mobile operating system. Skype is making a push to get its software onto more devices, from traditional PCs to mobile devices to consumer electronics such as HD televisions.

Skype is continuing to expand the reach of its video conferencing technology, pushing Skype software deeper into the mobile space.

The VOIP (voice over IP) company June 15 announced that it is putting its Skype application on three Sony Ericsson smartphones that run the latest Symbian mobile operating system.

Users of Sony Ericsson's Satio, Vivaz and Vivaz Pro smartphones can download the application from the Skype Website. The application can be downloaded on the move through either a WiFi or mobile data connection, including 3G, GPRS and EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution), according to Skype officials.

The VOIP application will also be available on the Sony Ericsson PlayNow Arena later in June.

"We see a huge demand for Skype on mobile," Russ Shaw, general manager of mobile at Skype, said in a statement. "The users want to keep in contact with the people that are important to them without worrying about the cost, distance or whether they are away from a computer."

Skype earlier in 2010 announced that the application could run on the Symbian OS, Shaw said. Now it specifically can be downloaded onto Sony Ericsson smartphones, enabling users to make free calls to other Skype users.

Consumers using Research In Motion BlackBerry devices, Apple iPhones, and devices running Google's Android OS or Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system can already take advantage of the Skype software.

Skype officials are currently appearing at CommunicAsia, held June 15 to 18 in Singapore. During the event, Skype CEO Josh Silverman told attendees that communications were moving away from being device-specific and toward software that enables people to keep in touch regardless of what devices they're using.

"What's the next frontier? I believe it's about ubiquity," Silverman reportedly said. "It's about allowing you to communicate whenever, wherever and however you like. At Skype, we envision a world where communication flows like water. The basic idea is that any computing device becomes a communications device with the addition of our software and you can communicate however and wherever you want."

To that end, Skype is looking to expand its software to a wider range of mobile platforms. Silverman said eight of the world's 10 top PC makers will offer Skype preloaded on their systems by 2011. He also is working with electronics makers to put the software in other products, such as high-definition televisions.

Skype, which has been strong in the consumer space, is looking to become a larger player in the commercial space. Skype officials announced in May that the company was running tests on a new version of the software that would enable users to hold conference calls with up to five people.

The move would put the company in more direct competition with a growing number of vendors-including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Polycom-in the corporate video communications space.

Cisco officials have said video would be a significant part of what they believe will be a $34 billion collaboration business.