Barcelona, 14 February, 2006 —Skype, the fastest growing Internet Communications Company and Hutchison 3 Group, the leader in 3G mobile services, today announced an agreement to enable Skype communications on 3G.
Working together, Hutchison 3 Group and Skype plan to give people the freedom to enjoy Skype anywhere they go, whether at home, in the office or on the move while on Hutchison’s 3 networks. Hutchison views Skype as an attractive value added service, providing customers with more choice and thus further accelerating the uptake of the Hutchison’s 3G services.
The Skype and Hutchison 3 brands compliment each other, representing innovation and high value offerings to consumers. This partnership will enable Hutchison to directly tap into the 75 million people using Skype across the Hutchison territories and promote to them the benefits of using Skype on Hutchison’s networks.
“With Skype on mobile devices, people can keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues wherever they go. This takes Skype beyond the PC into the mobile world,” said Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder. “I believe this will accelerate the adoption and use of Skype to new levels.”
Pioneering 3G mobile operator Hutchison 3 Group is expected to be the first to market the Skype-enabled mobile devices. Hutchison is running friendly user trials to optimize the user experience and plans to launch later this year, following its trials, in countries including Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, the UK and Italy. Trials will be carried out using enabled mobile phones from leading phone manufacturers.
3 Sweden is already offering a Skype bundle with a 3G flat-rate subscription and 3G data card. With a mobile flat-rate data plan from Hutchison 3, users can make unlimited Skype calls.
“Skype on 3G smartphones, datacards and other devices is a service that our customers will be thrilled to use. With Skype they can talk for as long as they want with their friends around the world. It will be a great addition to our existing wide range of multi-media mobile broadband services. We believe Skype is yet another reason for people to choose 3 – customers demand a choice of innovative services and we are delighted to be working with Skype to deliver that, said Christian Salbaing, MD Europe Telecommunications at Hutchison 3. “We look forward to offering it to our subscribers in our key markets starting with Sweden and then in our other markets as soon as user trials are concluded.”
Skype for mobile devices offers a number of key features and benefits:
- Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut calls
- Instant Messaging and group chat
- Presence, including ‘online’, ‘offline’, ‘away’, and ‘call forwarding’
- Easy contact search
- Contact request authorization and new contact addition
Skype is the world’s fastest-growing Internet communication offering, allowing people everywhere to make unlimited voice and video communication for free. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones through partners, as well as voicemail and call forwarding. Skype also has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers. Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). To learn more visit skype.com.
Skype is not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling.
About Hutchison 3 Group
A division of Hutchison Whampoa, the 3 Group together with Hutchison Telecommunications International, is the leading global player in the 3G arena, holding licences in 10 markets with total population coverage of approximately 175 million. In less than three years, the 3 Group has built an entirely new network, achieving probably the fastest rollout of a radio network in the entire telecom industry. Marketed globally under the 3 brand, the group is also the first operator in the world to provide dual-mode 3G services.
To date, commercial 3G services has been launched in Italy, the UK, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong and Israel. Hutchison has announced more than 11 million customers in January 2006. For more information about 3, please visit www.three.com