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Skype to be available on Verizon smart phones

MUMBAI: Skype has taken another step toward solidifying its position in the global communications market by landing a major deal with Verizon Wireless.


By way of an agreement reached yesterday, Verizon has allowed its users who are signed up with data plans to use Skype on their smart phones by next month absolutely free.
Skype customers will be able to make international calls at Skype‘s normal rate of 2.1 cents per minute, which is much lower than Verizon‘s international rates. 
 
Instant messaging and monthly unlimited packages will also be offered as options with the Skype application. Verizon also plans to allow its subscribers using Blackberry and Android handsets to use Skype on its data network.


Skype has been a controversial application for carriers, which initially saw it as a threat to their voice business but are now realizing its potential for driving data traffic. Skype currently has 521 million users who consume an estimated 12 per cent of the world‘s international minutes, according to a USA Today report. 
 
Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the US, has been aiming to beef up its data plan usage as demand for voice calls have been receeding.


Meanwhile, interest in Skype is growing rapidly and its software is being downloaded at a rate of 300,000 per day.


Last month, Skype rolled out its latest version of Skype for Windows, which can deliver HD-quality video at 1,280 x 720 resolution with a 30-frame-per-second refresh rate.
 

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