Skype picks a fight with carriers over apps

Skype has picked a fight with the major wireless operators arguing that most mobile users have not downloaded an application to their phones, but would do so more often if carriers gave subscribers more freedom.

Skype commissioned a study by polling firm Zogby International, which surveyed 3,000 mobile phone users in the United States, the U.K., Japan and Spain over the last three months. According to the results, 67 percent said they do not have as much control over their cell phone as they do their personal computer, and 70 percent have never downloaded a mobile application.

Skype argues that some of the blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of wireless carriers. If the major wireless carriers would give subscribers more freedom with their phones, Skype argues, they would download more applications and feel as if they have more control.

"This is a clear signal to everyone in the communications industry--mobile networks, device manufacturers, and software companies like Skype--to work together to deliver what mobile users like you want: the freedom to install what you want, where you want it," wrote Skype COO Scott Durchslag on Skype's blog. 

Skype has long had a contentious relationship with many carriers, mainly because its service would cut into traditional voice revenue. Skype recently tussled with O2 and Orange when the two carriers declined to sell Nokia's Skype-enabled N97 handset.

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