Hutchison 3 Group, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa Limited, and Skype have entered into an agreement to enable Skype communications on 3G. The alliance by the two companies has been formed with an intention to let people enjoy Skype anywhere, from home to office to your car…no matter where you go your Hutchison 3’s networks will follow you wherever you go.
Hutchison said it viewed Skype as an attractive value added service; offering customers a number of choices, thereby further speeding up the uptake of the Hutchison’s 3G services. The partnership will allow Hutchison to directly tap into the 75 million people using Skype across the Hutchison territories and promote to them the benefits of using Skype on Hutchison’s networks.
Skype CEO and co-founder said Niklas Zennström said, “With Skype on mobile devices, people can keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues wherever they go. This takes Skype beyond the PC into the mobile world.” Zennström added, “I believe this will accelerate the adoption and use of Skype to new levels.”
Hutchison 3 Group is expected to be making a pioneering effort to market the Skype-enabled mobile devices. Hutchison is running friendly user trials to optimise the user experience and plans to open later this year, following its trials, in countries including Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, the UK and Italy. Trials will be carried out using enabled mobile phones from leading phone manufacturers.
3 Sweden is already offering a Skype package with a 3G flat-rate subscription and 3G data card. With a mobile flat-rate data plan from Hutchison 3, users can make unlimited Skype calls.
Christian Salbaing, Managing Director of Europe Telecommunications at Hutchison 3 said, “Skype on 3G smartphones, datacards and other devices is a service that our customers will be thrilled to use. With Skype they can talk for as long as they want with their friends around the world. It will be a great addition to our existing wide range of multimedia mobile broadband services. We believe Skype is yet another reason for people to choose 3 – customers demand a choice of innovative services and we are delighted to be working with Skype to deliver that.”
“We look forward to offering it to our subscribers in our key markets starting with Sweden and then in our other markets as soon as user trials are concluded,” added Salbaing.
Skype for mobile devices offers a number of key features and benefits:
– Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut calls
– Instant Messaging and group chat
– Presence, including online, offline, away, call forwarding
– Easy contact search
– Contact request authorisation and new contact addition