Verizon, Skype partnering to offer VoIP

Skype VoIPIn a growing trend, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is making inroads into the phone business. The latest to join the gang is Verizon.

The company recently announced a joint press conference with Skype, the leading company offering free as well as subscribed VoIP services. Indications are that VoIP services will be added to some Verizon smartphones over its 3G networks.

IDC analyst Rebecca Swensen told Bloomberg that the move makes perfect sense for Verizon to join with Skype -- and its reportedly 520 million users.

Skype is the most popular company that lets you connect your computer to any other computer on the Internet for a voice or video chat. What the partnership with Verizon will do is let you call any computer from your phone via your data link, bypassing traditional phone networks.

The biggest advantage with this routing is it is virtually free, letting you call anywhere in the world. Potentially, if similar services are available at the receiving end, international calls will also either become free or very low cost.

Skype is a little late in coming. Other companies, like iCall and Fring, have been offering similar services for some time now. These new companies are developing applications that are integrating not just the phone with another computer for a phone or video call, but also aggregating these services with social networking applications such as AIM and Google Talk.

To catch up, Skype recently announced it would add an application for the iPhone and iPod to make calls over AT&T's 3G network. Verizon, in competition with AT&T, is also warming up to the new technology.

These new technologies are changing fast, and on the down side, consumers have a hard time keeping up with the latest services and the possibilities they offer for communication. But on the up side, these services are cheap, lowering costs
all around.

We all like the sound of that, don't we?

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