Just a few weeks after AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) gave in and said it would allow Skype and Sling onto its 3G network, Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) followed suit. At the 2010 Mobile World Congress, Verizon and Skype announced that they will team up to give Skype users:
- Always on service
- Unlimited Skype-Skype service
- Unlimited calling, including SkypeOut international rates
- Instant messaging via Skype
It's difficult to understate how big a change this could be if it actually comes to fruition. And in exchange for giving its customers such flexibility Verizon gets ... umm, well... probably fewer voice minutes and a more heavily burdened data network.
Left unsaid though is just how well Skype will function on 3G networks when it's not just the bleeding edge guys trying it. But I can't help but wondering if that isn't the very reason why AT&T and Verizon stopped fighting. By giving in to public demands, they can now respond to congestion with new tiered pricing plans and have a ready-made argument for doing so. Something along these lines has to happen before long doesn't it?