3 launches Skype phone


3 today announced the release of its handset created in partnership with VoIP provider Skype.

The ‘3 Skypephone’, a 3G phone with built-in Skype, also features a two megapixel camera, MP3 player with expandable memory, mobile TV and full web browser.

Skype to Skype calls and Skype instant messaging will be free, subject to a fair usage policy of 4,000 minutes and 10,000 texts.

Retailing at £49.99 on prepay, 3 said the handset would fill the gap in its prepay range. It will also be available on the network’s new Mix & Match tariffs.

There are more than six million registered Skype users in the UK.

3 UK chief executive officer Kevin Russell said: “3 wants to make the mobile internet affordable to everybody. To enable Skype to go mobile in this way brings free internet calls together with an affordable 3G handset.”

Skype acting CEO Michael van Swaaij added: “Skype has now taken a giant step forward in the mobile arena. 3 is challenging traditional thinking and offering the kind of product other operators are still shying away from.”

The device will be available from November 2 in all 3 UK retail stores.