Mobile Skype — Big Opportunity, Bigger Challenges


Skype has been pushing to get onto mobile phones for a while, and has so far managed it with 3 (sort of). There seems to be more promise — mobiles are made for voice calls and computers aren’t, and mobile phone calls are more expensive than landline calls. However, the issues are greater — the data connection isn’t as consistent and tends to be pretty expensive anyway, and that doesn’t take into account the antagonism of the carriers. CNet does a good job of going through the issues, with some interesting tidbits about Skype’s experience on 3: “Early Skype phone users on Hutchison 3’s network are using the presence feature to see if friends are online or not before making a call, said Skype’s Saigh…”Conversations that we enable on 3’s network are incremental,” he said. “These are conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. People can see if their friend is available and then just click to call. So while cheap international calling is part of the story, it’s not the main driver for using the service.” Skype hopes to become the application that aggregates all communications — voice, IM, and presence information — across a PC and mobile phone.

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