Verizon Wireless and Skype are expanding the handsets options on which Verizon customers can download and run Skype’s voice-over IP (VOIP) mobile application.
Following the launch ofthe Skype app for BlackBerry and Android-running handsets, the two have announced the availability of the Skype app for multimedia 3G phones based on Qualcomm’s BREW (binary runtime environment for wireless) platform. These include the LG enV Touch, the LG Chocolate Touch and the Samsung Reality.
“The Skype mobile app for Verizon Wireless 3G multimedia phones works the same way it does on the carrier’s smartphones, letting you make free calls to friends and family on Skype, [make] great value calls to landlines and mobile phones overseas, and send IMs to people on Skype anywhere in the world,” Skype blogger Peter Parkes shared in an Aug. 18 post.
The app can be downloaded from the Verizon Media Store or from the Media Center/Get It Now on some handsets, or by texting SKYPE to 2255 for a link to the download. Once the app is on board, users can place free Skype-to-Skype calls from their mobile device, computer or even television. (Skype adds an asterisk here, explaining that while the calls are free and don’t count toward one’s Verizon minutes allowance, users will need a data plan to use Skype mobile on a Verizon Wireless phone.)
Skype calls to a mobile number or landline in the United States do, however, count toward a user’s Verizon minutes. And Skype calls to international mobile or landline numbers do come at a price-albeit a nicely discounted one-which users can pay for via a Skype subscription or using Skype Credit. An example, per the Skype blog, is the ability to make unlimited calls to landlines in Gaudalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey for $6.99 a month.
Also, there’s no fear of a user missing an incoming call, as the Skype app can continually run in the background.
The Verizon announcement comes more than year after the carrier, at its 2009 Developer Community Conference, emphasized that in looking forward-particularly at Android-running handsets-it still hasn’t forgotten about its older supported platforms, and recommitted to working with Qualcomm in support of BREW.
Skype has also been busy, and on Aug. 9 filed for an IPO, though offered no timeline for when potential shareholders might be able to purchase stock. In its preliminary prospectus, Skype estimated that the initial offering’s value could be up to $100 million, though it declined to reveal a specific price share to the Associated Press.
For more information on the Skype app for BREW phones on Verizon, visit Skype.com.