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Saturday, 7 March 2009

UK Networks to remove Skype

UK Networks to remove Skype
One of the cool features you’ll find on a fair few modern mobile phones is Skype. It’s even had an entire phone named after it (no prizes for guessing it was the 3 Skypephone)! However, it’s not the only phone to have this well-known VoIP service built in, because Nseries phones are getting in on the action, too, most notably the Nokia N97, where Nokia plan to have it linked in to the contacts, so you can Skype someone (snigger, that still sounds rude to me), straight from your phonebook.

There may just be a tiny hiccup in that plan, though, because it doesn’t sound like the UK networks are particularly happy about that, according to IT Pro Portal…

Most vocal in their criticism have been O2 and Orange, and when you think about it, it’s easy to see why they’re kicking up a stink. If you’re making calls through Skype, then you’re not making normal voice calls, and they lose the revenue they’d make from you making normal voice calls. Theoretically, that could lead to them deciding not to sell the Nokia N97, which, let’s remind the world, is already generating massive amounts of buzz before it even goes on sale.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile are being smart, and thinking the same as I would (and this is where I reckon O2 and Orange are missing out on a trick). Sure, you may get a hit on voice calls, but just look at Three: they have the Skypephone range as one of their key products, and what having Skype built in actually seems to do is make for more loyal customers, who spend more through your network!

It’s an interesting battle that’s shaping up, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. On the one hand, the networks want to maximise the amount of money they can from people, and don’t want Skype screwing their profits. On the other hand… the Nokia N97 is one of the most anticipated phones ever, and surely any network would be daft to not sell it!

Ooh, an interesting Catch 22, there. I’m intrigued how this one’s gonna play out.

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