back to article Skype shelves call charges

VoIP operator Skype has shelved plans to charge users for 3G calling, claiming that operator plans to bill by the byte make such charges redundant. The company's last iPhone client allows calling over a 3G data connection, but when it was launched Skype warned that the capability would be restricted to those paying an …

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  1. Chris Hatfield
    Pint

    Good, they see sense

    They hopefully realised what a massive PR goof they made - http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/06/01/skype_iphone/

  2. Jigr69
    FAIL

    Where's Skype for Android?

    Skype are missing out on a whole bunch of people who refuse to bow down to Apple and have themselves an Android phone. Skype on my Desire would be a brilliant combination, provided it wasn't just limited to wireless and could use the 3G connection as well.

    Fring has been blocked by Skype, but without Skype putting anything in its place. I know there is a Skype client but only on 3 and Verizon.

    1. paulf
      FAIL

      nobbled

      The skype for 3 client is only for 3 phones, and doesn't allow skypeout AFAIK.

      You're right - skype need a decent native client for Android that allows all the trimmings like skype out. Then I could ditch the horribly unreliable Fring client. I must say that I didn't even notice that Skype blocked Fring since my Fring 3G Skypeout calls hardly ever connected anyway.

  3. DavCrav

    Texts?

    "Voice calling is what pays for today's mobile infrastructure"

    I thought texts were much more profitable for the mobile networks. Sure, the revenue isn't as high, but the profit margin is better. Although I have no idea really, not having any knowledge of mobile network economics. Actually, just ignore me I guess.

    1. paulf
      Boffin

      Yes

      AFAIK the gross margin on a 12p text message is in the 90%+ region. Its only a few hundred bytes that are transferred on the handset signalling channel, so not actually taking up a TDMA voice channel slot. But there does need to be back end stuff (SMS message centre) to receive the SMS and route it to the correct destination.

      It does need some effort but hardly 12p/text worth.

      However that doesn't account for the inclusive text messages people will get in their monthly package. For my £10/mo I get 100 X net minutes, and 500 texts. I imagine the margin on those 500 texts (if I use them all) is considerably less.

    2. Dale 3

      Text profit

      Absolutely sms/text is highly profitable. If a network charges 10p per 160 character text, that's an astounding £671088 per MB! Even at a more conservative 1p per text that would still be £67k per MB.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pure Profit

        Hence the Vodafone founder, Sir Gerald Whent, is said to have described text messages as "the purest form of profit ever invented":

        http://bleedingedge.com.au/blog/archives/2008/05/sms_the_purest_form_of_ripoff.html

  4. JimC

    > Skype a popular option...

    > Also interesting will be the application of more complex pricing with bundles including

    > application-specific data, no doubt with Skype a popular option.

    But if it costs you exactly the same money whether its an ordinary voice call or using Skype VOIP why would you bother to use Skype? Isn't the main appeal of Skype that you don't pay normal voice charges, especially long distance ones?

    1. Trevor 10

      I was just about to say that

      Skype provide cheap / free calls, thats why people put up with the hassle of having to use skype.

      But if the costs are similar to a voice call, why bother, especially as the 4G networks start to appear and suddenly everything is considered to be data packets which are routed by which ever operator can handle it at the time.

  5. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Great

    This is good news for me, as an iPhone user.

    Re. Android. At risk of feeding the trolls, I'd suggest that Skype are interested in market share more than universal reach. Fring was out for the iPhone waaaay before Skype; they only released their own app when the momentum of the iPhone became clear. Android still has a way to catch up - I'm sure Skype will release an app once it does.

  6. adfh

    Unlimited data is not sustainable in the long term

    "All you can eat" data plans are not sustainable.. As everything moves to a more data centric model, expect it to be volume charged as with all other consumable resources to pay for the infrastructure behind it all.

    Mobile data has always been volume charged in Australia (well, initially it was time charged too :S) and it's only surprising the rest of the world is only beginning to follow suit now.

  7. xj25vm

    The future

    Well, in the absolute long term, the mobile networks are fighting the same kind of loosing battle that ISP's fought in the 90's. Sure they will make a whole wad of cash in the meanwhile though, for as long as they can :-)

    But in the end, all we need from them is their dumb data pipes - be them 3G, or 4G or whatever else will be around by then. As far as I can connect my Android phone, tablet/pad thing, laptop or whatever else shrunken down device to the Internet through their infrastructure - I don't care about their 'enhanced' services and whatever else they offer. As small devices (such as phones and tablets) will eventually standardise, so that I can efficiently use on the go my email, IM, voip and other open standards way of keeping in touch - I don't need their keeping me tied to various proprietary services on proprietary devices. A simple, reliable mobile Internet connection will solve all my communication needs. You can already do that with a laptop and 3G dongle today - you can send and receive emails, you can make VoIP calls (I've been doing it for over a year), you can do instant messaging. It's just cumbersome, and not as reliable as it should be. But as things improve, it will be even easier to get it all done. So in the end - it is the dumb data pipe that will triumph over 'enhanced add-ons'.

    I know, it's not what the operators want to hear - but it will get there. Nobody pays nowadays per email sent, or for specific services to regular ISP's. All you want is a reliable connection with sufficient monthly bandwidth. The rest you can take care of yourself.

    Long live the future.

  8. James 51

    3

    3 promote the abilty to make phone calls over their network. It would be handy if I had to call abroad a lot. Or knew more people on the network.

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