Anton Shilov reports: Motorola, a leading maker of mobile phones, and Skype, a leading Internet telephony company, said this week at 3GSM World Congress that Motorola would launch a lineup of products that are dubbed “Skype Ready,” including cell phones and handsets.
The two companies will explore opportunities broadly across both companies, leveraging Motorola’s strength in seamless mobility, advanced technologies, mobile devices and accessories and Skype’s rapidly-growing global user base and rich voice and messaging communication tools. The initial focus of the collaboration will be on co-marketing of new optimized Motorola “Skype Ready” companion products, such as Bluetooth headsets, dongles, and speakerphones, as well as delivery of the Skype Internet Telephony experience on “select Motorola mobile devices.”
Peculiarities and specifications of “Skype Ready” products were not touched upon.
Skype takes communications to a new and global era with its free, multi-faceted and rich communication tools, enabling users to make free, or very cheap, voice calls and rich messaging connections via the Internet. Skype currently has more than 25 million registered users.
While headsets, dongles and speakerphones are natural enhancements for PCs or PDAs that have Skype installed on them, cell phones with Skype capability may usher a new era in mobile communications, as whenever users have Internet access, e.g., via WLAN or GPRS, they will be able to make long-distance calls at a price much lower compared to that offered by cellular network operators. Still, the cost of GPRS traffic from some operators particularly in the EU is very high and may limit benefits Skype provides in terms of cost.
Motorola “Skype Ready” companion products are expected to be available in the first half of 2005.