3 unveils Skypephone
Skype and 3 have unveiled the Skypephone, a 3G handset which allows users to make free calls over the internet.
The £50 handset can be used to make conventional calls or call other Skype users and exchange instant messages. However, unlike the traditional Skype service, the Skypephone does not allow users to make cheap global calls to other phone numbers.
In order to qualify for free Skype calls, customers will need to top up their account with at least £10 every 30 days, or be on a contract.
“It takes an innovative operator like 3 to challenge traditional thinking and offer the kind of product other operators are still shying away from,” says Michael van Swaaij, acting CEO at Skype.
“3 wants to make the mobile internet available to everyone,” adds Kevin Russell, Chief Executive Officer, 3 UK. “To do this, we believe that services need to be simple to access and affordable. Mobile has the potential to massively increase access to internet calling.”
The 3 Skypephone will be available from 2 November. Users without Skype accounts will be able to create one through their mobile phones, according to the companies.