EBay's Skype believes the mobile phone world is not ready for a version of its internet telephone service. Skype uses a broadband internet connection to place a voice call, cutting out the telephony network for which telecoms operators charge by the minute. Skype calls to other broadband-connected Skype users are free, and Skype calls to normal phones are inexpensive. Of a mobile phone customer had an inexpensive data connection, then using Skype to make long distance calls could result in substantial savings, but so far there are few such cheap data plans.
The company recently unveiled a version of Skype, running on a Nokia phone, that worked on the third generation network run by Britain's 3, heightening anticipation that Skype would soon become available for more mobile phones. But Eric Lagier, in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show here, said that while development work was being carried out, most of the other telecoms network operators had not created attractive flat-fee wireless broadband packages that were needed to take full advantage of internet calls.