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3 launches new Skype mobile phone

50°
352w ago - Mobile phone provider 3 has launched a new handset that will allow users to make free calls over the internet via telephony service Skype. Users will also be able to use Skype's instant messaging service, 3 said.

But while people using Skype on their computers are able to make cheap global calls to any phone number, this will not be possible via the new 3 handset.

Skype has about 246 million registered users worldwide and is one of the firms reshaping the global phone industry.

Mobile potential

To date, mobile phone companies have been unwilling to let users freely access Skype via their handsets for fear that it would hurt their business.

While it is possible to access Skype from a number of handsets, this has involved downloading third-party software, something that has put off the majority of users.

The Skype-phone will be the first instance of a phone operator launching a mass market device that is designed to allow free calling over the internet from a mobile, 3 said.

"It takes an innovative operator... to challenge traditional thinking and offer the kind of product other operators are still shying away from," said Skype's acting chief executive, Michael van Swaaij.

"It's is now truly mobile. Skype has now taken a giant step...
 

Data row hits mobile mast website

50°
356w ago - The future of a website which details all the mobile phone masts in the UK is in doubt following a row over divulging "commercially sensitive" information.

The Sitefinder website is maintained by media regulator Ofcom, following a request from the government in 2000.

But mobile firms stopped giving data to the site last year after Ofcom was told it must publish grid references of all the masts in a searchable database.
 

Mobile system promises free calls

50°
359w ago - A new way of making calls directly between phones, for free, is being trialled by a Swedish company.

It is hoping to dramatically improve communications in the developing world.

Swedish company TerraNet has developed the idea using peer-to-peer technology that enables users to speak on its handsets without the need for a mobile phone base station.
 

Mobiles for the 'world's poorest'

50°
359w ago - Nearly half a million people, described by the UN as "the poorest of the poor", will soon be able to make mobile calls.

As part of a UN programme to tackle poverty in rural Africa, 79 villages across 10 African countries will be hooked up to cellular networks.

It is hoped that the connections will help improve healthcare and education, as well as boosting the local economy.
 

Mobile phone technology turns 20

50°
359w ago - The technology behind the mobile phone is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

On 7 September 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile networks based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.

According to the GSM Association there are more than 2.5 billion accounts that use this mobile phone technology.
 
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