Verizon users to get Skype in late March

Verizon Wireless has joined forces with Skype, and its subscribers will be able to start making calls using Skype on nine selected smartphones in late March, the operator said on Tuesday.

The two companies have built a new always-on application called Skype Mobile. The client will be available to owners of the following RIM (Research in Motion) phones: BlackBerry Storm, Storm 2, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition and the Tour 9630. It will also be available on the Motorola Droid, the HTC Droid Eris and the Motorola Devour.

To use the Skype client a data plan is needed. Subscribers will be able to make and receive unlimited and free Skype-to-Skype calls, and use Skype Out to make international calls to any phone at Skype's standard rates. So, the client will be especially useful for users with family abroad, according to Verizon Wireless.

The calls will be carried over Verizon Wireless' voice network, and won't impact overall network quality, according to John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless.

The Skype client will help Verizon Wireless set itself apart from other U.S. mobile operators, and what "you'll see from Verizon, you won't see from anyone else," Stratton said.

The two companies didn't demonstrate the actual application, but it will be tightly integrated on the respective phones, according to Josh Silverman CEO at Skype.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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