3 will be selling a Skype SIM card from 1 May that will enable mobile users to make Skype calls completely free.
Costing £1.99, the SIM can be inserted into any 3 Skype-enabled handset which can then be used to talk to other Skype users with no data charges or top-up fees. However, that's not all. From the summer (exact date TBC), this deal will be opened up to include any compatible unlocked 3G handset, thus bringing Skype's low-cost and free calling service to a far greater audience.
With 250 million Skype minutes being made on mobiles in 2008, the VoIP application is a growing phenomenon with this latest announcement set to see it grow further. Whether it will be enough to see customers from other operators swap their SIM for 3's Skype card we're not sure, but for £1.99 we can certainly foresee users buying it and perhaps using it in another affordable handset as a purpose built Skype phone.
3 and Skype have a long running relationship that has seen the launch of two Skypephones already, the S1 and S2, with a third expected before the end of the year.