Jordanian telecom company Umniah and Microsoft’s Skype service have entered into a joint partnership in which Umniah subscribers will be offered “extra capacity” on top of what they currently receive with their data plans to be able to make Skype to Skype calls for free over wireless networks.
The offer will be available to smartphone owners at no extra charge and will work over 3.75G technology with “several existing data plans” according to Telecompaper. Umniah CEO Ihab Hinnawi highlighted the need for wireless operators to join forces with VoIP and messaging app providers to be able to meet revenue goals while providing customers with services that are growing increasingly in demand. Besides free Skype voice and video calls, Umniah customers will enjoy easy accessibility to other popular Skype features such as instant messaging and low cost calls to landlines and mobiles.
This new alliance comes right on the heels of Nimbuzz’s revenue-sharing deal with carriers in Singapore and Skype’s own billing deal with carriers in Russia, which will later be expanded to Canada and the United States. VoIP providers such as Japan-based LINE also have similar deals elsewhere, a trend that is likely to continue as time goes on and dependency on wireless carriers for voice and messaging continues to decline.