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{March 31, 2009}   Skype to Launch iPhone Software

EBay Inc.’s Skype unit plans to release a version of its Internet-based phone software for Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The move, set to be announced Tuesday, puts Skype more directly in competition for wireless voice services with network operators such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.

Skype’s software, which can be downloaded free, allows iPhone users to call other Skype users on computers or supported cellphones free if they are in a Wi-Fi hot spot. Or they may call land lines for a fee, typically 2.1 cents a minute.

Skype uses a technology called VOIP, for voice over Internet protocol, which treats calls as data like email messages or Web pages and routes them over the Internet, rather than a traditional phone network. It says it has more than 405 million users around the world. The company is also the world’s largest provider of cross-border voice communications, according to the Telegeography unit of research firm PriMetrica Inc. >>read more

 

 

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