Where Skype and mobile will connect

Jeremy Hobson Mar 31, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Where Skype and mobile will connect

Jeremy Hobson Mar 31, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.