Vodafone has partnered with Skype to demo voice-over-mobile on its CeBIT stand. The signal of intent could trailblaze the way towards the world's largest mobile network enabling you to make voice calls to PCs and other Skype-enabled devices.
Skype can already be used by 3 network subscribers on some phones and packages. The software used by 3 is similar to that demonstrated by Vodafone and also enables you to access other instant messaging networks such as Yahoo and Windows Live Messenger. The application which drives the voice over mobile technology is codenamed Starfish.
We reported on Wednesday that Vodafone announced separate deals with both Yahoo and Windows Live enabling customers to use their messaging services.
Vodafone has 200 million subscribers in its fully-owned and partner networks and would be at a major advantage if it pioneered the technology - plus made it cost effective.
Talking to Reuters , Jan Holzberg, product manager at Vodafone, said: "We have not yet decided if we will launch it, or the commercial terms and prices."
Skype is desperate to get its software onto more devices - mobile phones are chief among its targets. The eBay -owned company now has 171 million signed up, but it remains unclear how many of them are regular users.