If a mobile carrier can make money by charging you for the time you spend talking, texting or surfing using their network, why would they consider allowing Skype to work on their network – a service that is offered for free?
Verizon (News - Alert) has certainly seen the value in this partnership and is now the only carrier within the United States that has reached such an agreement. To share more about this exciting partnership, Jennifer Caukin, director of communications with Skype, stopped by the TMC (News - Alert) media booth at CTIA 2010 for a video interview.
With the latest Skype/Verizon partnership, Skype Mobile is now available on nine different BlackBerry (News - Alert) and other mobile devices. This approach allows people to release their tether from the PC as they can now carry Skype with them at all times. They can also use their Verizon phone to call landlines or other mobile phones using Skype (News - Alert).
This is a significant benefit for users as most who rely on Skype keep their closest contacts within their Skype account. Now, all Skype calls can be kept on their mobile device so they can take advantage of this free service from anywhere.
If the user is calling a landline or mobile phone that is a non-Skype receiver, they simply pay normal Skype rates, which are traditionally very low. It also delivers better integration into the Verizon environment. The app is available for a free download, or it can be pushed directly to the user.
Will more carriers jump on board? “Verizon is our first carrier relationship,” says Caukin. “It is very exciting for us. We do expect to work with more big carriers around the world. This is a big, big milestone step for Skype; it’s clearly opening doors in terms of the way people think about Skype. We have always seen a lot of synergies between the Skype application and a carrier relationship.”
There is certainly revenue to be gained for carriers, as well as less customer churn. With this partnership, the company hopes to show what Skype can do for end users and carrier partners, delivering value that will certainly impact the bottom line.
With Skype on Verizon, voice calls happen over circuit switch network – so there is significant integration. It is also always on, allowing users to leave Skype running in the background at all times. If someone leaves a Skype message, it goes directly to Verizon voicemail inbox.
To learn more about the benefits associated with the partnership between Skype and Verizon, check out this video in full below.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi