Verizon Bringing Skype To Feature Phones, But Not With Wi-Fi
That could soon be changing on VZW. The largest carrier in America has indicated that they will soon offer phones that offer Skype...which aren't smartphones. Called "3D multimedia phones," these lesser "feature phones" will soon bring Skype access to customers who don't want to complicate their life with a full-fledged smartphone, and it'll be made available on a variety of phones and in a variety of languages.
What's unique about Verizon's decision, however, is that they will reportedly be deactivating the Wi-Fi calling portion of the app. In every other Skype instance, using Wi-Fi is the primary method of connecting. This allows carriers to save bandwidth on their 3G network, and it allows users to avoid potential roaming charges if they're calling from overseas. But Verizon is evidently interested in making sure that all Skype calling experiences are controlled, and since Wi-Fi can be unpredictable, they want to route all Skype calls over their CDMA network in order to ensure a similar experience.
Jennifer Byrne, executive director of business development, Verizon Wireless, had this to say about the matter: "Skype mobile from Verizon Wireless not only takes advantage of the reliability and breadth of our wireless network, but it’s also proving to be a great option for military families with loved ones stationed overseas, people with relatives in Asia or South America, and businesses with a global presence. And, with the World Cup starting soon, there’s no better way to talk or chat about the action with far-flung fans and family than Skype mobile."
We still aren't in favor of totally disabling Wi-Fi for Skype, but we guess it's still better than not having Skype on these so-called feature phones. And of course, there are numerous other operators in America for those looking for more freedom.