3 passes 1bn Skype minutes


3 claims to have saved its customers more than £120 million through its Skype calling services after its one-billionth minute was recorded this week.

3 claims it free Skype to Skype internet calling service,which is available on selected 3 handsets, on average accounts for more than three million minutes of calls every day since launching in October 2007.

3 claims based on the average call call per minute charges of 12p, its customers have saved more than £120 million to date.

Usage passed on billion minutes this week during a scheduled call between minister for Digital Britain Stephen Timms MP and the chief executive of aid charity Merlin to discuss the organisations work in Haiti.

The call was made possible after 3 donated five of its Skype handsets to the charity so its staff in Haiti and in the UK can remain in touch at all times as the telecommunications infrastructure is currently unstable.

3’s chief executive Kevin Russell (pictured) said: “3 UK’s network was purpose-built to bring the benefits of the internet to mobile users. With Skype on 3 users now making more than 3 million minutes a day of calls, we have taken this service mainstream. 

“We are building the UK’s biggest and best network for mobile data through an intensive and ongoing upgrade and expansion programme, and we expect the growth of Skype on 3 to continue.”

Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms said: “Services like Skype on 3 have been vital to the aid being delivered by relief agencies in Haiti.  Digital Britain sets out a framework for the modernisation and growth of the UK’s communications infrastructure. 

“This will enable internet technologies such as Skype to thrive, ensuring Britain sustains its position as a leading digital economy.”