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June 09, 2011

TELUS, Skype Partner

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines

Canadian telco TELUS (News - Alert) has joined forces with Skype to offer customers affordable international calling rates to both landlines and mobile phones through Skype Out calling. As a result, customers now have the ability to have Skype (News - Alert) Credit charged directly to their wireless bill. And TELUS said it also will “champion” Skype offerings and offer customer support around them.

Also as part of the deal, TELUS plans to make available to its customers later this summer the Skype edition LG Optimus Black smartphone. The device comes with a preloaded Skype icon that connects to the Android (News - Alert) Market with one touch, where the latest version of Skype Mobile can be downloaded.

"We believe that by developing a deep relationship with leading global communications brands that our customers already know and enjoy, such as Skype, TELUS can provide a superior customer experience that leverages the best of what those brands have to offer and empowers our customers to choose the services they want and need," says David Fuller, chief marketing officer at TELUS. "By bringing Canadians their choice of the best communication technologies we offer our customers the freedom to customize their mobile experience with the services they want, when and how they want. And when you experience these services on Canada's fastest coast-to-coast 4G network, it's a perfect match."

TELUS went on to say that the partnership, for which the terms were not disclosed, will enable Canadian consumers to get the best Skype experience on their smartphones.

This deal follows news that Microsoft plans to buy Skype. It also follows by several months news of a partnership between Verizon Wireless (News - Alert) and Skype. The latter two companies created a Skype mobile offering for Verizon’s 3G smartphones.

John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless, at the time of the announcement said, “Skype mobile on Verizon Wireless changes the game. For Verizon Wireless’ more than 90 million customers, Skype mobile adds great value because we’re effectively giving customers with smartphones and data plans the option to extend their unlimited calling community to hundreds of millions of Skype users around the globe. And you’re not limited to using a single type of phone; we’ll have nine smartphones ready right at launch in March.”

As TMCnet reported in the wake of the Verizon-Skype deal, that was hot news at the time.

“I’ve been focusing on driving innovation in a few key areas for us – video, mobile, and the Web,” Jonathan Rosenberg, Skype’s chief technology strategist, told INTERNET TELEPHONY around that time. “Skype has already been incredibly successful in the area of video. Already, 34 percent of Skype-to-Skype calls include video, and that has peaked at a little more than 40 percent during holidays like Christmas or New Year’s Day. That’s just huge, and it means that the ‘network effect’ – which has really prevented real-time video from taking off in the past – has been achieved.”

Edited by Rich Steeves
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