Skype exec calls for win-win partnership with cellcos

Having seen O2 and Orange inform Nokia they would ‘decline' the Skype-enabled N97 handset, the COO of Skype has hit back at these attempts to block the progress of mobile VoIP.

Speaking at the giant German trade show, CeBIT, the Skype COO, Scott Durchslag, said he was extending the hand of partnership to mobile operators in an effort to extend the use of the application onto smartphones. "We're pragmatic, and we're willing to structure deals," he said, pointing to the agreement completed with Nokia for the mobile VoIP service to be integrated into the upcoming N97 handset.

The Skype software already works with Android, Java and on Windows mobile, but Durchslag admitted the desktop offering remained its core business today.

Within the last few days, O2 has started to soften its line with regard to the N97/Skype combination, claiming it needed to ensure the customer experience was right: "We haven't ruled out stocking the N97," said an O2 spokesman. T-Mobile and 3 openly support mobile Skype, albeit with some initial reluctance from T-Mobile.

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