How is 3 offering Skype calls to everyone?
From the summer 3's Skype SIM card will be compatible on any unlocked 3G handset meaning for the cost of just £1.99, customers will be able to purchase the SIM card and make calls to other Skype users.
Will all Skype calls really be free?
Yes. Calls made from one Skype user to another will be completely free.
What about data charges?
Although the Skype calls will be made through the 3 network, the operator will wave any data charges that would usually occur. However, if you are surfing the net or sending and making standard texts and calls, data charges will apply.
Why are 3 doing this?
3 claims they want people to be able to enjoy the same calling experience that they do on their PC as on their mobile. 3 has an ongoing partnership with Skype following on form the launch of Skypephones S1 and S2, so this latest offering from the two should come as no huge surprise. 3 will be hoping that not only will they generate a lot of revenue from the sale of their Skype SIM cards, but that once purchased, customers will begin using other 3 services that do incur charges, such as roaming and standard calling and texting.
Why are Skype doing this?
Although an enticing offer, for people to take advantage of it they will need a Skype account. More users means more revenue for Skype.
What could this mean for the mobile market?
Other operators will certainly be taking note. If people can make calls without having to spend a penny, it's bound to attract people. While 3's Skype SIM deal may not be enough to entice everyone to trade in their standard SIM card, operators are likely to see a downturn in the number of calls made, especially when calling abroad.
Why would people still make traditional voice calls if you can make free Skype ones instead?
Not everyone has a Skype account. However, if the service continues to grow as it is doing then traditional calls could quite possibly fall with Skype calls increasing.