Skype Signs up First Mobile Network Partner; Partnership with E-Plus Offers Free Skype Calls Over Mobile Network
LUXEMBOURG --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 1, 2005 -- Skype, the Global Internet Communications Company, which is revolutionizing communications by offering free, high-quality phone calls to anyone with an Internet connection, today announced a landmark partnership with E-Plus, Germany's third largest mobile phone network, which marks an important step in Skype's global mobile strategy to move beyond the desktop.
From October, Skype software will be bundled with E-Plus' flat-rate data subscription, allowing people to gain both a high bandwidth Internet connection and free, high-quality Skype calling over E-Plus' mobile network. The E-Plus network has 9.8 million subscribers.
"E-Plus is the first mobile operator to partner with Skype, taking the first step to deliver Skype's vision of making Skype available over any network, including 3G. Now anyone with an E-Plus data flat-rate subscription will be able to enjoy the benefits of Skype's personal communications service when they are on the move in Germany", said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and Co-founder. "We look forward to working with other innovative mobile operators around the world to bring the value and convenience of the Skype global Internet communications experience to their millions of mobile phone subscribers."
The flat-rate data subscription is available throughout Germany for EUR 39.95 per month. Skype will be the only company offering calls over the Internet on the E-Plus mobile network.
Mobile users of the Skype/E-Plus bundle will benefit from:
-- fixed-rate mobile Internet access and free Skype calling
-- ability to control call costs using the E-Plus flat-rate data subscription
-- freedom to call from home, office or on the road
"The use of Skype is growing strongly. Through our co-operation we are combining the advantages of mobile and stationary Internet access," said Uwe Bergheim, Chief Executive Officer of E-Plus.
Skype has more than 2.8 million Skype users throughout the country. Worldwide Skype has more than 52 million registered users and has enabled more than 12 billion minutes of high-quality talk time.
Skype is working with a number of leading mobile handset and headset manufacturers, including Motorola, to offer Skype callers an extensive range of Skype-ready devices.
About Skype Technologies S.A.:
Skype, the Global Internet Communications Company(TM), allows people everywhere to make free, unlimited, superior quality voice calls via its award-winning, innovative peer-to-peer software for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Pocket PC platforms. Skype is available in 27 languages and is the fastest growing voice communications offering worldwide. Since its launch in August 2003, Skype has been downloaded more than155 million times in 225 countries and territories. Over 52 million people registered to use Skype's free services, with over 3 million simultaneous users. Skype has more than 2 million premium customers, with over 12 billion minutes served. Skype Technologies S.A. is headquartered in Luxembourg and is growing its offices in London and Tallinn. Skype Technologies is privately held and backed by top tier international venture capital firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Index Ventures, and Mangrove Capital Partners. www.skype.com
E-Plus is the third-largest mobile network operator in Germany. The company follows a strategy of profitable growth and frequently launches important market innovations. E-Plus was the first company to introduce private customer tariffs, one-second units, vanity numbers and prepaid cards on the German market.
With the launch of BASE, E-Plus is developing from a single brand to a brand group. The flat-rate brand BASE for average and frequent users with mobile phone contracts and the mobile discount brand Simyo for low usage callers with prepaid cards complement the full range for E-Plus private and business customers.
As an innovative company, E-Plus offers its customers easily intelligible tariffs for mobile calls at optimum conditions. The long-term aim is to attract revenue from the fixed network to the mobile network and make the mobile phone first choice for making calls.
E-Plus has also established an excellent position in the mobile data sector. From fun and entertainment to tailor-made solutions for the mobile office, navigation and logistics, mobile data has simply become part of life for many E-Plus customers.
The basis for any solution is a high-capacity network. E-Plus is one of the companies that are building and operating a modern UMTS network in Germany.