March 03, 2010, 1:03 PM — Nokia is embracing Skype making available for free the Internet-telephony (VoIP) app in the Ovi app store. Over 200 million Nokia handsets will now be able to download the Skype app and make cheap calls abroad while away from the computer.
Skype for Symbian will allow calls on both WiFi and 3G data connections, though calls using the 3G connections will also come out of your contract data allowance. Otherwise, you can make free Skype-to-Skype calls or call traditional lines anywhere at a fraction of the regular cost.
Nokia phones such as the N97, N97 mini, X6, 5800 or the business-minded E72 and E90 are included on the complete list of Symbian devices to support he new Skype app. A Skype app for Symbian phones from the likes of Sony Ericsson (Vivaz, Vivaz Pro) is expected later in the year.
Only a week ago Skype said it would pull out of making software for the Windows Mobile platform, blaming inconsistency. But Skype forged a partnership with wireless carrier Verizon to bring its app on a range of BlackBerry devices and on some Android phones using flat-rate data plans and not contract minutes.
With Symbian, BlackBerry and Android in the bag, Skype has yet to get its app to make and receive calls via 3G connections for another major mobile platform, the iPhone. Skype for iPhone can do text chat over 3G but calling is reserved for WiFi only, with no option for the used call minutes to be withdrawn from the contact plan.
In September 2009, eBay has sold Skype to a group of private investors for $1.9 billion, and now has over 520 million users registered around the globe.
Wireless carriers are seeing a decline in voice calls income and Skype was considered an additional risk. However, the recent moves of the VoIP company could prove beneficial for carriers who will get more out of data bundles.