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andy (Online)
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Default 3 UK to make Skype calls completely free - 23-04-2009, 12:40

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London, 23 April. In a world first, 3 UK is opening up its network to allow anyone with a 3 SIM and a compatible handset to enjoy unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls and instant messages without ever having to pay.

From 1 May, there will be no data charges or top-up fees for either contract or pay-as-you-go customers who use Skype on 3’s UK network. Anyone with a 3 Skype-enabled handset will be able to buy a 3 SIM and talk as much as they want to other Skype users without ever having to pay another penny.
3 Media Centre

Some people may say it's already free, but so far that has been conditional on either a contract or on making regular monthly top-ups on prepaid

whereas now:
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• Unlimited free Skype-to-Skypecalling on pay-as-you-go tariffs with no need for monthly credit top ups. All new customers will need is a pay-as-you-go SIM from 3 costing 1.99, which can be used, initially in any Skype-compatible 3 handset.
So far there has been a 3 phone especially dedicated for Skype use, but it's possible on other phones too.

n.b. Skype calls aren't based on only data; in fact it's a GSM call though the user doesn't see that, and data is only used for presence info and so on

I think they are mad.

Although 3 think this will be a grand marketing ploy to draw in more customers, are they conceding a bit too much in this symbiotic relationship, when some people already have or will find workarounds to make free calls to pstn landlines as well?

How about visitors coming here and being able to call Skype friends and family at home for nothing ...

And will this also apply when roaming with 3 Like Home? I'd imagine the sister 3 networks having some difficulties agreeing to it - how about a group of people travelling to Italy or Sweden or the others and making free calls between themselves for the whole visit, and even giving SIMs to the people they will call locally.

Last edited by andy; 23-04-2009 at 13:05..
   
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 23-04-2009, 16:59

So, are such free Skype calls on 3 possible through a modem/datacard in a PC with a 3UK SIM or indeed a 'non-skype compatible' 3G handset but which is coupled to a PC/pocket device?
   
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andy (Online)
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Default 23-04-2009, 17:47

I don't know, but it seems a bit unlikely, as that would involve a data connection, which would come out of a paid-for bundle. And unnecessary anyway.

The point is, Skype calls from or to a 3 Skypephone don't require a Skype client, but invisibly to the user it's a GSM pstn calls arrangement using (I believe) a version of iSkoot. That's the odd part about 3 making it free in the first place, as it meant they are waiving incoming termination fees as well as outgoing revenue.

And for some phones, such as I think Symbian models and probably others, Skype can be run on these in a similar way. For the user it's like making an ordinary mobile call.

When they first launched this a year or two ago, it wasn't allowed to use SkypeIn or SkypeOut to begin with, but I believe one or both are now possible. I suppose I should check
   
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 23-04-2009, 18:07

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Originally Posted by andy View Post
When they first launched this a year or two ago, it wasn't allowed to use SkypeIn or SkypeOut to begin with, but I believe one or both are now possible. I suppose I should check
Yes I remember that, and it made perfect sense in order for them to protect their revenue streams. If that really is the case now, wouldn't they seriously be shooting themselves in the foot? As you say, both for incoming termination revenue and outgoing calls revenue, both of which will always be cheaper on Skype than with 3PAYG.
   
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andy (Online)
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Default 23-04-2009, 18:30

Whether they're available now or not, even at the beginning it was already a hostage to people looking into ways around SkypeIn and SkypeOut, though some of them seemed to think leaving a PC on at home was necessary
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 30-04-2009, 21:43

If anyone in the UK has this setup, send me a private e-mail. I've got my Asterisks box hooked into Skype and I'd love to do a few experiments with you.
   
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