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Verizon To Allow Skype Calling On Its Network 98

Posted by kdawson
from the free-as-in-pay-for-a-data-plan dept.
The Verizon press release begins: "At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon Wireless and Skype today announced a strategic relationship that will bring Skype to Verizon Wireless smartphones in March." What used to be one of the most protective carriers anywhere has been opening up in major ways since the introduction of the Motorola Droid. Phandroid summarizes: "Starting next month, Verizon Smartphone users with data plans will enjoy free and unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls to anyone on the planet. And you’ll enjoy amazingly cheap Skype International calls as well. All this from Verizon Wireless’ 3G network." Some are wondering how the DoJ and law enforcement will react to a major upsurge in fully encrypted traffic.
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Verizon To Allow Skype Calling On Its Network

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  • by SpooForBrains (771537) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @05:29PM (#31161300)

    This sounds like it's going to be essentially the same service that 3 mobile have been offering in the UK for a few years now. The Skype calls are handled through a gateway at the carrier. Between the carrier and the handset they function the same as a regular voice call (so they're nice and tappable).

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @05:55PM (#31161620) Journal

    I would point out that the cost of data plans is gradually decreasing. I've avoided any 'smart' phones up until recently, because I refused to pay $80+ per month. But, I just got a plan with T-Mobile that is about $60/mo (it's actually a little less than that, but what the discount giveth, the taxes taketh away, so it comes to almost $60 exactly), gives me 500 voice minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data.

    My previous voice plan with Verizon, which I had from about 2003 - 2009 was about $45/mo (40 before taxes), gave me 300 minutes, and no text or data. So, I figured, $15/mo, with an extra 200 minutes, plus text and data, isn't too bad.

    Some will say that T-Mo has the worst network of the major carriers. That might be true, I'm not sure. In Ohio, where I live and work, the coverage seems excellent. I don't travel much, but in the little bit of travel I've done in the last 6 months with T-Mo phone service, I had coverage in most places, except for extremely rural areas. In some places, T-Mo gave me free roaming on AT&T's network (West Virginia seems to have absolutely no T-mobile coverage, but the phone used AT&T there).

    It's good enough for me, anyhow. YMMV.

  • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @06:02PM (#31161704)

    For a more direct link...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Soghoian [wikipedia.org]

  • by daemonc (145175) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @06:41PM (#31162150)

    They sure don't.

    I use the awesome Sipdroid app to make and receive all the calls on my Droid over SIP, including to/from landlines.

    Also, you can already Skype from the third party app Fring.

    The point of this announcement is that Skype is promising to make a fully functional app for Blackberries and Androids, and Verizon is promising not to do anything to block it.

  • Re:Latency (Score:3, Informative)

    by bevoblake (1106117) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:02PM (#31162404)
    As a quick followup, here are some quotes on 3G call quality from the iphone blog [tipb.com]:

    I’ve been using Skype over 3G ever since it came out (first with VoIPover3G, now with 3G Unrestrictor) and I have to say that quality sucks. I get dropped calls, sound dropping in and out, weird noises during the call, etc."

    We have the largest and fastest 3G network in the world here in Australia (44mbps downlink in the cities, 21mbps everywhere else – 99% of the population have 3G), and being a fairly small population – congestion isn’t an issue. VOIP over 3G works, but it totally sux. Like really, unless you can’t afford to make a phone call (unlikely if you have an iPhone) then it’s not worth the mucking about.

    Cellular data connections are very bursty with high amounts of latency. Fine for browsing the web, or streaming media where the player has a buffer, but pretty awful for having a real-time duplex conversation. Which is why I really am ok with just using Skype over wifi.

    A few people post quotes to the effect "quality is so-so but it's good enough for me," but most responses seem pretty negative towards the call quality.

  • by trapnest (1608791) <janusofzeal@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:18PM (#31162572)
    I've been using tmo for years, I've had no problems with them. Far better then dealing with verizon... :\
  • Re:NSA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:49PM (#31162870)

    The NSA uses a program called Trireme that analyze data forwarded to them by Raptor boxes. To achieve throughput they essentially map every IP address into it's own FSA. To achieve the memory/speed footprint they need, it all runs on Itanium servers running 32gb ram. Racks of em. That business about a secret room @att in california: True.

    Now that Skype is firmly under US jurisdiction since eBay purchased them, tapping calls should be no problem. If you need encryption you MUST do it on your own end-to-end

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