Starting tomorrow, Verizon customers with a smartphone and a data plan will be able to download and use the Skype Mobile application, the VoIP provider announced on Tuesday.
"A month ago at Barcelona we wowed the mobile industry by announcing this partnership with Verizon. It seemed improbably at best to many in the industry. Why in the world would a carrier want to partner with Skype," said Russ Shaw, general manager of Moible for Skype.
Skype said its app will work on nine smartphones to begin with, including the BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition, Tour 9530, Droid, Droid Eris, and Devour. Support for more phones and platforms is expected later this year, Skype said.
With the app installed, Verizon owners will be able to make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls around the world, send and receive unlimited IMs with other Skype users, and take advantage of Skype's international rates. Instead of using Verizon's data network, Skype Mobile routes calls over the operator's voice network, which might explain why Verizon requires a subscription to both its voice and data plans, and why it isn't too worried about partnering with Skype.