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Skype expands mobile strategy at CES

Skype once again got everyone talking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week when it announced its support for a wide variety of new wireless devices and accessories. It ihas declared its intention of delivering a new mobile Skype experience for consumers and small business users wherever they are…

Internet access is rapidly spreading beyond just the home or office computer, and a world increasingly blanketed with wireless connections is giving Skype conversations the freedom to travel almost anywhere,‚ said Gareth O’Loughlin, Skype’s general manager of mobile and hardware devices. ‚With the introduction of new mass-market devices at CES that support Skype, millions of people around the world will now be able to leave the desk behind, put Skype in their pocket and take their conversations with them. I think that is immensely liberating.‚

Skype has worked closely with a number of its hardware and software partners to bring Skype functionality to an increasing number of mobile products that use a variety of wireless network connections to access the internet. This includes offering mobile support for Skype’s free instant messaging and voice calling among the more than 246 million registered Skype users, as well as its premium features, such as SkypeOut‚Ñ¢ (cheap calls from Skype to traditional landlines or mobile phones anywhere in the world) and SkypeIn‚Ñ¢ (a personal and portable Skype number that people can call you on wherever you are in the world).

Some of the new wireless devices and accessories being demonstrated at the 2008 International CES that make Skype mobile include:

Freetalk¬Æ Wireless Stereo Headset ‚ This new Wireless Stereo Headset, enabled by the new AvneraAudio‚Ñ¢ technology, delivers CD-quality sound and the freedom of hands-free Skype calls at any time. It offers superior range (up to 20 meters) compared to technologies such as Bluetooth, freeing you from your desk to make and receive the full range of Skype calls while moving throughout your home or office.

Intel-based Mobile Internet Devices ‚ Mobile users will be able to make Skype voice and video calls and send instant messages on the move, while harnessing the PC-like performance of Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) based on Intel low-power processors and chipsets. This new category of small, truly mobile consumer devices with WiMAX and WiFi capabilities will enable free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and cheap SkypeOut calls to be made on open wireless networks.

Nokia N810 Internet Tablet ‚ The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is a sleek, pocket-sized WiFi device with a slide-out keyboard which frees Skype users from their desktop, allowing Skype-to-Skype conversations and SkypeOut calls to take place in any WiFi connection, including thousands of Boingo Wireless and Earthlink WiFi hotspot locations.

mylo‚Ñ¢ Communicator ‚ Skype comes pre-installed on Sony’s mylo personal communicator, COM-2, so users can call or instant message any other Skype user all over the world for free over an open WiFi connection. Users of the mylo can also make cheap SkypeOut calls and receive Skypein calls.

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