UK operator 3 is to allow Skype users to make international calls with their SkypeOut minutes, bypassing the operator completely, while the VoIP pioneer's desktop client continues its slow progress towards version 4 with a new beta release. Punters equipped with a Skypephone, or compatible handset such as an N95 or C902 on 3, …
Its not GSM
Three uses a 3G hence the name - the calls hope over the CDMA portion of the network. Three doesn't really have GSM unless you roam...
Press release blind quoting?
"... with a new beta of its desktop client including system-tray alerts and drag-and-drop file transfer, ... ..."
system tray alerts and drag-n-drop file transfers have existed for a long time, or am I mis-reading this section? Or perhaps referring to non-Windows clients? I recently noticed the Linux version wasn't exactly cutting edge.
Other VoIP providers are available...
I make a lot of international calls from my mobile, and found that Rebtel's service was more useful to me than Skype - you call a geographic number in the UK and it patches you through. It costs about the same as SkypeOut, plus the cost of the call to the UK number, which comes out of my inclusive minutes.
Interesting point about Skype on 3 being a frontend to a voice call!
"Loss of revenue would be hard to justify"
LOL. Have any of you guys at The Register tried using Skype on the 3 network?
Even with a 100% 3G signal it more often than not takes over an hour to login, which is frankly a pain because the crappy iSkoot application they use for Skype doesn't remember the password between failed attempts, so you have to keep manually entering it (which is oh so bloody easy on a numeric keypad - honest!).
And within a few hours their servers forcibly log you out so you have to go through the whole rigmarole again.
Oh I'm sure 3 aren't concerned about loss of revenue at all. They know their Skype implementation is so oversubscribed and useless that customers will choose to pay for calls the regular way almost every time.
When does this come into effect?
As a 3 customer, I welcome this innovative addition to an already competitively priced service. Will My3 be updated to show my Skype minutes balance? I think the current allowance is 4000 mins/mth, and where are the rates for the international calls?
Well Done 3!
I found this feature on my handset today and love the idea! Previously if I wanted to phone my mum in Portugal I would wait till I got home and use my WiFi Skype phone or Skype To Go number from my mobile - now I can do it directly from my mobile straight into Skype! Well Done 3 !!!! I have had no problems logging into Skype and frequently use the chat bit of it.
@ Chris Merriman
I think it means that they've added Drag 'n' Drop file transfer and tray alerts to skype 4
Which by the way hasn't just gone beta, it's been beta for some time
Although I could be wrong...
How did you "find this feature on your handset"?
Their Skype app (iSkoot) on my N95 has not offered to update, and the version at Planet 3 is the same old bug-ridden, memory leaky v2.00.16. (If you put Handy Taskman on your phone, you'll see that it leaks about 1MB an hour.)
I'm surprised at the lack of connection problems noted above with Skype via 3. (Assuming your using Skype's 3 (iSkoot) app which connects to 3's own overburdened server.
I've got two handsets (one SE k770i, and one Nokia N95) that both suffer simultaneously, despite (as stated previously) being in a very strong 3G area. When Skype works, it works with both. When it doesn't work, both are affected. When one is logged out, the account on the other gets booted at the same time. All these factors lead me to conclude the problems are at the server side. With PAYG users now being given access to Skype, it wouldn't surprise me that the service is oversubscribed.
I've even thought about uploading a video to YouTube showing the charade that has to be gone through in order to get both handsets logged into Skype. I find it's generally best to start trying at 7am, because a login by 9am is usually (but not always) guaranteed if you do that.
Using fring, a client that sings into skype, aim,msn,gtalk..yadda yadda yadda yopu have been ale to make skype out call for months and months!
i know.... i have been doing so on my N95!
...Fring isn't suitable for use with 3 if you want to use Skype for free.
Their Skype client is a modified version of iSkoot which connects via 3's own servers and routes all Skype calls via a UK landline. The bandwidth usage for connecting/refreshing/text chatting via that custom server doesn't count towards your internet usage, and calls to that UK landline are free.
Anybody accessing Skype the regular way would notice a considerable bandwidth hit, which could cost them a lot of money... depending on the plan they're on.
On an SE K700
I just opened the Skype App. It automatically asked me to upgrade to iSkoot v2.0.50 to replace v2.0.33. 274KB downloaded and installed in less than 1 min.
Can't be arsed buying any pre-pay SkypeOut credit to test it out on calls abroad though.
Why can't the Skype cost just be added to my 3 bill? I /might/ use it then.
Innovative? - it must be 3!
I'm a PAYG 3 customer using a TyTN II and have managed to install a ISkoot client that uses threes Skype services (not officially available for the TyTN II on Three) and its generally great!
Trying to call a +44 number results in a message stating only international calls can be made.
Rarely have problems logging in and making calls or Skype messaging. It would be great if 3 offered an internet package that allowed UK skype out calls for a few extra pounds per month but I guess this would be a real gamble on their part due to revenues and the comsumers part that the servers can carry the traffic.
Great work 3, Keep up the innovation, although there has been a few more issues using the data packages recently - overloaded or tightening access to certain services?
3 Skype app for TYTN II?
Where did you get an iSkoot client for the TYTN II that connects via 3s Skype proxy, and routes all calls via 3's Skype landline number?
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