This is great news. You will be able to access Skype services while you are hitting the road without having to be a 3 customer in Europe or firing up your laptop in a WiFi covered area
You will finally be free from you mobile phone plan and you will be able to talk and chat for free forever!
As always, you need to be very careful about the above statement. There are a lot of bad things you may find while using this service.
Here is a small list of things I do not personally like about this application and the related service:
- In several countries you will have to use SkypeIn in order to receive calls. That basically means it will cost you money
- When you will originate a voice call you will use your SkypeOut credit. Moreover since the client does not implement a real VoIP solution your call will be routed trough a standard voice call from your mobile operator. That means that you will consume your SkypeOut credit and on top you will be billed for a standard voice call as per your carrier plane. Definitely not cheap.
- When you will use Skype Chat you will pay according to your data traffic plan. Just as an example there are plans that makes you pay a fee as soon as a data connection is set up. Again, a lot of money.
- Since the application is a standard J2ME application it will not be possible to have it running in background. (Well on some mobile phones it will be possible but they are a few) This means that you will always need to have your application running in the foreground consuming battery power at a much faster rate compared to the idle state. Moreover your contact list will be constantly updated over a data connection costing you money.
I think there is enough to stay away from this application unless you have a very good voice and data plan from your carrier.
For the time being I think I will stay with my 3 SkypePhone.
I am suspecting that the Skype guys are trying to bring in some money from this initiative. Unfortunately it seems that they are not talking with mobile operators and, as I said in the past, the truth is that “Who owns the (U)SIM owns the customer”. And this is still true.