Blackberry Bold with a Skype Client? I Don’t Think So!

Blackberry Cool is floating a rumor that the U.K’s 3 network, the only carrier currently selling Skypephone – a hit in the youth market, will be selling the Blackberry Bold with a Skype client.

First problem, it is known that VoIP over 3G networks still has quality, robustness and latency issues that make them unsuitable for running a native Skype client. Can we ever convince the media that VoIP over any current wireless data protocol is a non-starter?

This issue was confirmed when Truphone, after months of attempting to launch a native VoIP client over 3G, recently launched their Truphone Anywhere service that allows you to make Truphone calls over a GSM/EDGE/3G network using the data channel for text messaging and call signaling while using the robust, scalable inherent voice channel for the voice conversation. As a result you have two wireless options for Truphone: (i) VoIP over WiFi or (ii) Truphone Anywhere over 3G (and, from personal experience, I can confirm it works on 2.5G/EDGE as well). I have used Truphone over WiFi on several occasions to make low cost or free calls from WiFi access points, especially when in the U.S.where my Rogers roaming charges would be $0.95 per minute.

And, of course we know that 3 has a previous relationship with Skype and iSkoot, who build the software behind the Skypephone. So the real question is “Will we see an iSkoot implementation on the Blackberry Bold?” I can vouch that I have been using iSkoot on my Blackberry 8820 for some time; it’s really useful to keep up with Skype chat session during commuter trips and, when in Toronto, I can make calls to Skype contacts simply for the cost of “local” minutes. (Once away from Toronto, I am charged for long distance back to Toronto, where 3 has an access PoP.)

Certainly, after seeing the Blackberry Bold’s display last week, I can see the opportunity for a very interesting Skype client on the Bold.

Well, it makes for an interesting rumor; only time will tell. And, how does this tie in with today’s announcement from 3 of Skypephone 2? (More in a follow up post.) Given that Skype’s fifth anniversary is coming up at the end of August, maybe we can expect some interesting announcements in the next six weeks or so.

Tags: Skype, , Skypephone, iSkoot, Blackberry Bold, Truphone, Truphone Anywhere, Blackberry Cool

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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