Skype launches mobile VoIP app beta, but it won't get you free calls

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skype_mobile.jpgSkype has released a beta version of its new java based mobile application which provides mobile users with Skype access while out and about.

It’s free to download from here and should work with around 50 models of handset. The beta software offers most of the same features as full Skype client, including Skype messaging, group chats, SkypeIn, SkypeOut, SkypeShakeItAllAbout and Skype-to-Skype calls. These last three are actually on restricted availability, but for a nice change the UK is in the list of supported regions.

Skype, mobile phone – got to be a winner, right? Well, there’s a catch. It is still going to charge you. Generally, using the application will cost the same as a normal local call. Additionally, if you call a UK mobile or landline, you’ll pay the SkypeOut cost on top of that. Likewise if you receive a call from a fellow Skype user, you pay the Skype Out rate for a local call to your area.

The instant messenger service accesses the internet so normal data charges will apply. It won’t eat through a lot of you data allowance, but for god’s sake don’t leave it on overnight or anything as that will get you royally shafted.

On the whole, the Skype ethos of free internet telephony seems to have been left a long way behind with this application, but admittedly a lot of the charges are out of Skype’s hands. It doesn’t look like the sort of service you’re going to want to rely on too heavily, but if you do organise your life using Skype contacts or make a lot of international calls from your mobile, then it could save you a few quid.

Skype (via vnunet)

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