Skype Mobile will be available on nine Verizon smartphones starting this Thursday. The app will allow users to make free Skype-to-Skype calls and send Sype-to-Skype instant messages over Verizon’s network without using plan minutes or data allowances.
It’s a step in the right direction although if you think you’d be able to use it in lieu of an actual voice plan, keep in mind that you’ll need a compatible smartphone which requires both a voice and data plan and, again, you’ll only be able to make Skype-to-Skype calls. Calls to non-Skype phones won’t work unless they’re international calls. In that case, you’ll be able to call international numbers via Skype and will be charged at Skype’s relatively reasonable $0.024 per minute to most places. So that’s good.
Compatible phones right off the bat include the BlackBerry Storm, Storm2, Curve 8330/8530/8830, Tour, Motorola DROID, DROID ERIS, and the soon-to-be-released DEVOUR, with support for additional phones promised later this year some time.
Now, Verizon does offer a $55 per month data-only plan for smartphones but the process seems a little odd in that you can only get the plans in-store and “appropriate documentation may be required,” whatever that means. Verizon touts the plan as “perfect for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing,” without actually saying that it’s a requirement.