TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Norwegian Start up Opens Skype to all Mobile Users

Norwegian Start up Opens Skype to all Mobile Users

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 14 Jun 2005 14:34:10 -0500

An invention by a Norwegian start-up company allows consumers to use
their everyday mobile phones to make free long distance Skype calls
over the Internet, for the price of a local call.

The company, called IPdrum, said on Tuesday its software enables
consumers to call their own personal computer (PC) from any standard
mobile phone and set up a Skype call over the Internet. Skype calls
can also be received on that cellphone.

Skype's free software is used by 42 million individuals and the
company is adding 150,000 new customers every day. The three-year-old
firm, with offices in London and Luxembourg, said it was not involved
in the project.

Skype users usually make phone calls sitting at front of their PC with
an attached headset, limiting its usability.

The trick with IPdrum's software is that a second mobile phone is
connected to the PC with a small USB cable. IPdrum's software uses
that cellphone to set up a connection between the Skype application on
the computer and the consumer's cellphone in his or her pocket.

"You still need to pay for the local call between the two cellphones,
but most mobile operators offer flat rates for local calls or selected
numbers," said IPdrum's boss Kjetil Mathisen.

The product will be available worldwide by mid-August for a price
between $60 and $80. The company has a distributor in Europe and is in
talks with distributors in Asia and America.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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