Here's some interesting news. Skype
, which has grown to become the go-to
VOIP application for mobile and desktop use, is no stranger to Verizon
Wireless. Various Android handsets have been able to use Skype for
awhile now, with the Droid and Droid Incredible being two in particular.
But frankly, smartphone use of Skype isn't a shocker. Skype has been
available for Android
, but non-smartphones have generally
been left out of the Skype party.
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.