More rumors emerging from next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: Verizon Wireless may be striking a deal with Skype to allow voice-over-IP calling on their 3G network. Predictably, reps for both companies declined to comment, but a joint press conference is scheduled for February 16.
It's a smart move for Verizon, who are relying on 3G data plans for growth even as voice call demand slows. AT&T has already begun permitting 3G access to Skype users (previously, it had been limited to Wi-Fi only). Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based cell carrier 3 — who began selling phones pre-loaded with Skype all the way back in 2007 — boast that 80% of their "Skypephone" subscribers are new customers.
We're already witnessing the death of traditional copper-wire phone service, thanks to the proliferation of cell- and cable-based telephone options — is the demise of voice-only cell service close behind?
[Via Business Week]