back to article 3's Skype phone to hit the pre-Christmas rush

3's widely-trailed collaboration with Skype will be a new handset that will launch in the run-up to Christmas, sources say. The operator already offers access to free Skype calling through an application for its X-Series phones. However, the new product will see much tighter integration with the eBay-owned VoIP software. The …


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  1. Chad H.

    Isnt the idea when you're loosing money....

    Not to get into any situations where you loose more? Loosing more of their calls to VOIP, which they get a smaller payoff for, being included in their data packages, seems like a dumb idea.

  2. Anton Ivanov

    That is not a fudge, that is the right way of doing it

    The current implementation fudges slightly by using the voice channel to connect to the phone mast before the network converts the call to a true VoIP.

    That is not a fudge. That is actually the right way of doing it as far as the current 3G MAC nearly inexistent QoS capabilities are concerned.

    Frankly it is about time that El Reg staff instead of salivating over 3G went to a 3G course and learned a bit about the technology and especially about the limitations of its MAC layer. If possible learn the limitation as related to data. Just sitting down with a piece of paper and figuring out how much capacity is required to get a VOIP call to work on 3G vs having the same call on cell is a very sobering exercise. Adding to that how much can a 3G network offer in terms of data when pushed to the same 50:1 contention as broadband is even more sobering. Topping this up with a computation on how this will look in an urban or in-building environment usually leads to a total sobriety.

    While I understand that sobriety has never been the strongest side of the el Reg team, I never thought that getting drunk on whalesong is typical of them either.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    it has a name

    The new Skype handset available on 3 next month is called the WP-S1 and is available in several colour variants.

  4. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    To Anton

    before you leave us, can you provide some numbers?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why bother?

    Whilst I agree with everything Anton Ivanov said – current 3G networks are hopeless for VoIP, things are improving. However I do wonder just why Three are interested in offering Skype in this fashion, I mean using a regular circuit switched voice channel to carry the last mile means the costs will be similar. Most of the costs are in the radio access network and this implementation of Skype makes identical requirements on the RAN. Compound this with lower prices for calls over the Skype network and Three are displacing a high revenue product for a low one but maintaining the same costs.

  6. Ralph B

    @Chad H.

    Hey, great going! 3 incorrect usages of loose/loosing in one message. It's lose/losing, loser!


  7. Madge Silver badge

    He's Right ... except

    3.6Mbps HSDPA supports a maximum of 24 users. It's doubtful if all 24 could do decent VOIP. Also latency for data (VOIP) is 150ms to 999ms+

    Using the "built in" 3G voice is lower latency and supports more users. Even the mast backhaul links are often digital voice type rather than IP based.


    Using 3G you need a lot of Skype Proxy Severs, about 400Mhz worth of x86 CPU per call!!! So doing real Skype codec and VOIP on the handset is scalable and cheap for the operator. Doing it the 3G + Proxy method while MUCH higher quality is seriously expensive if more than a few use it.

  8. pctechxp

    What's the MAC anyway?

    What does MAC mean in relation to cellular?

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