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Where Skype and mobile will connect

Staring at the Skype logo on a blank screen

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there will be one very popular iPhone app today. Skype -- the people who brought us Internet voice and video calls -- is introducing that application that could make for some interesting connections. Key word is could. Here's Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson.


Jeremy Hobson: There's one big drawback. You won't be able to walk down the street while chatting via Skype with your friend in Bangladesh. The application will only allow you to make Skype calls while you're within range of a wireless Internet connection.

Here's Skype's Brian O'Shaughnessy:

Brian O'Shaughnessy: The restrictions that Apple and the carrier that they're partnered with now have placed over Skype need to be worked out and that hopefully will be worked out in the future.

But for now, Skype sees mobile devices as the central path to expansion. Especially in emerging markets.

O'Shaughnessy: The vast majority of people who are experiencing the Internet are experiencing it on their hand-held device now, so we believe that the opportunity for Skype is obviously massive.

Even if it turns into a headache for mobile carriers like AT&T. After all, if users can make calls on their phones without using airtime minutes, what's in it for the carrier? Skype plans to offer a similar service for Blackberry users in May.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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