Skype Expands Its Dominance: Now Available on Nokia’s Ovi Store

by Matt Klassen on March 4, 2010

Skype continues its systematic destruction of traditional cell phone plans with the announcement that the popular VoIP calling system will now be available for purchase on Nokia’s Ovi app store. While users continue to applaud the adoption of Skype, it is clear that Skype marks the (eventual) end for traditional cellphone carriers—but who really cares about them anyways?

The newest Skype client will now be available across Nokia’s network, meaning that over 200 million users that run a Symbian OS based handset will now have this free calling option. The strange thing is that Skype has been available to Nokia customers for quite some time now, except it wasn’t widely known or readily available to users. As the recent release of Skype on Apple’s App store has shown, its release on the Ovi app store will surely mean a significant increase in sales, as customers become informed of its existence—and the existence of the Ovi store itself—and utilize its free calling features.

This new Skype app for Nokia will perform all the standard phone features that users have to expect. As TechCrunch reports, “The app does everything you’d want a Skype app to do, as it includes support for making free calls to other Skype users over Wi-Fi and 3G, instant messaging, picture and video sharing – the whole nine yards.”

If you’re new to the Skype (VoIP) world, the feature allows users to make free Skype-to-Skype calls it other users anywhere in the world, with no fears of racking up long distance charges or worrying about exhausting restrictive contract minutes. The only ones who fear the rapid growth of Skype are the telecom carriers themselves, as binding voice-plan contracts have traditionally been their bread and butter in the mobile market, because with this simple and reliable free phone service, that uses the phone’s data connection, those carriers are left out to dry.

While most large telecom companies are changing their tune regarding Skype, there are still many operators in Canada, the UK, and across Europe that either prohibit users from accessing Skype or continue to charge them voice plan or other discriminatory fees, Jean-Jacques Sahel, director for government and regulatory affairs at Skype recently said.

But Sahel is sure that the rapidly rising popularity of Skype will convince those operators that using Skype as a free phone service is a legitimate and legal use of any carriers data networks. If it isn’t the rising popularlity of Skype that will convince them, it certainly will be the mass exodus of customers to a Skype-friendly network that will.

Skype’s plans for putting to death the traditional phone market don’t stop with Nokia though, as developing a VoIP client for Android is a company priority, although there is no launch date set as of yet.

I, for one, continue to applaud the rapid expansion of Skype across most major mobile networks. It’s about time traditional cellphone carriers got a kick in the ass like this, and learned that people don’t actually like to be locked in to restrictive voice-plan contracts. It’s just a shame that Canadian carriers like Telus, Bell, and Rogers still demand that users purchase a voice-plan for their phone, regardless of whether they use it or not. I guess we Canadians have always been a little slow, eh.

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