Skype, for those of you who don’t know, is a service by which you can make and receive text, voice, and in some cases even video calls via the data connection on your home computer, laptop, or mobile phone.
What makes Skype really revolutionary is the ability to make VoIP calls over your data network — any data network. To increase the value of their service Skype added the ability to call out to traditional telephone (or “POTS”) networks, as well as receive calls from the same. This isn’t free, of course, but it is very affordable, especially when you consider that all you need is a data line, no voice plan required.
Recently, Skype released it’s Android client, but only on the Verizon phones. What’s frustrating, like some Sprint apps, Verizon had Skype locked to only work over 3G, which defeats a common use of the service: being able to make and take calls in areas that you have WiFi coverage, but don’t have a reasonable cell signal (such as anywhere outside of the U.S.).
Now Skype has lifted that restriction and you can now make and receive their calls over WiFi!
This, of course, has the potential to change the game for mobile carriers by eliminating the need for voice plans. not long ago AT&T offered an unlimited data-only plan for iPads, but the iPad wasn’t intended to be a phone like most Android devices are.
Imagine the implications of a flat-fee, unlimited data plan that could replace your voice and texting fees completely. (AT&T won’t comment, but it’s my guess that this is one of the reasons AT&T discontinued their unlimited plans.)
In any event, this is good news for Verizon customers, and could signal an upcoming carrier-agnostic version of the app.