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Summary:

Skype users have been able to send text messages from Skype for a while. First it was a beta service tested by London company Connectotel released last year, and as of May Skype launched a service available in the latest desktop software download–looks like there’s still […]

Skype users have been able to send text messages from Skype for a while. First it was a beta service tested by London company Connectotel released last year, and as of May Skype launched a service available in the latest desktop software download–looks like there’s still no Mac version! Today mBlox, the SMS-delivery startup based in Sunnyvale, sent out word that it is helping power the new Skype SMS service.

It’s a significant win for mBlox, which says it will carry Skype’s SMS traffic over 180 wireless operators. The company is on a roll and last February raised $25 million from Trident Capital, BA Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, among others. I recently talked to Jay Emmet, the company’s President of Americas, and he said the deal was a part of the company’s plans to push outside of its home bases in North America and Europe. Particularly Asia.

Skype’s desktop to text message application won’t likely gain a fraction of the popularity of Skype’s free telephony service–for one thing it costs money. Skype talks a bit about why the company charges for the service, and says the carriers charge Skype, so they have to pass the fee onto users. But even if only a fraction of Skype users take up the SMS service, the partnership could make mBlox a well-known global brand. Something that could be even more valuable for the startup.

  1. Jesse Kopelman Monday, July 24, 2006

    Why would you want to send an SMS from Skype? At least in the US, you can send an SMS via e-mail for free (of course, you do need to know what carrier they use). Either this is not the case elsewhere, or this is just not a well thought out service. A more useful feature would be if you could receive SMS via SkypeIn.

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  2. But then can one not send an SMS to an email account as well? So what is so special to receive it on a SkypeIn number?

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  3. This is important as it means that for skype users who are mobile (and today are not contactable via skype) that one can SMS them. It makes Skype a place where one can contact everyone. From their integrated address book.

    [And strangely , this article only appears on the RSS feed, but is not displayed on the main gigaom.com page… but is available via searching the webpage. content mgmt system issue?]

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  4. ignore the last comment – found it – it was on the next page!

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  5. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    No Aswath, I’m pretty sure you can’t send an SMS to an e-mail account (for free that is).

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  6. Checkout this free service http://www.click4sms.com It let’s you send sms to groups for free… You can create organizations, groups and schedule SMS either onetime or recurring

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  7. [...] to have come from research into mobile music-buying patterns — since mobile music provider Mblox was a partner in the study — and that he has already admitted mobile behavior is subject to [...]

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