Skype, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ebay, plans to release a mobile Internet cell phone together with Three (3) operator in the UK. The move can potentially open the door to a worldwide Internet-based cell phone network for Skype.
An official for Three confirmed in an interview with Reuters news-agency that the company was working with Skype to produce a handset that would allow users in Britain to make free calls on the Internet. The phone is expected to work in the normal way but to include a Skype function to contact other Skype customers. Unfortunately, it is unclear when the device is set to be available.
The device, with an appropriate 3G/GPRS/Wi-Fi roaming, would allow to call worldwide for the cost of data transfer, which will eventually become much more affordable compared to voice calls. Given that currently there are only satellite phone services that cover the whole planet, Skype may offer something similar for areas featuring wireless local area and wide area network connection (WLAN, WWAN).
A Skype official did not give any further details, but said the phone would be out later this year.