When UK mobile operator 3 launched its X-Series service earlier this year, the inclusion of Skype was one of the most exciting elements. Experienced Skypers quickly noticed that it was only the basic Skype service, and not the more advanced SkypeOut giving you cheap calls to landlines and mobile numbers. However, Skype’s Tony Saigh has confirmed that SkypeOut is still on the company’s roadmap for mobile.
His comments came at yesterday’s 3 Mobile Internet seminar (see our liveblog), when he also said that the reason SkypeOut was missing from X-Series WASN’T because 3 banned it, but more because Skype didn’t want to overcomplicate its first mobile client.
Cynics will have their doubts. Putting Skype on a mobile phone was a risky – and thus brave – move for 3 to take, given its potential cannibalisation of its voice call revenues. And SkypeOut is even more of a threat: on your PC, using SkypeOut here in the UK to call a landline costs 1.2p a minute, compared to the 10p a minute you pay on 3’s £15 Talker tariff.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if 3 had barred Skype from putting SkypeOut on X-Series. But Saigh says that wasn’t the case. When Skype does produce a mobile application including SkypeOut, it’ll be interesting to see how the operators react…