Skype coming to Japanese cell phones

The potentially major deal will extend to broadband, cable TV and fixed-line customers

Skype has tied up with one of Japan's largest telecommunications companies in a deal that will see its Internet telephony service offered on cell phones and to broadband, fixed line and cable TV customers.

The deal is potentially the largest Skype has done so far in Japan and ties it with KDDI, a carrier second only to NTT in terms of customers and reach. KDDI operates the country's number two cellular network, has a vast fixed line business that reaches millions of consumers and businesses, operates a nationwide fibre-to-the-home network, and holds stakes in the country's dominant WiMax and cable TV operators.

The first fruits of the tie-up will come next month when the first two cell phones with Skype are put on sale. The IS01 and IS03 smartphones are based on the Android operating system and Skype will be rolled out to other Android and Brew-based handsets in 2011, the companies said in a statement.

At launch the companies are planning a promotion with unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls at no charge. After the promotion is over voice calls made via Skype from the handsets will be routed over KDDI's voice network and incur charges. This is similar to Skype's tie-up with Verizon in the U.S.

KDDI's cellular service, which is marketed under the "au" brand name, had 32 million customers at the end of September.

"We look forward to working closely with Skype to extend these benefits beyond mobile to broadband, fixed line and cable, and thereby maximise the satisfaction of our customers in every area of our business," said KDDI senior vice president, Takashi Tanaka, in a statement.

The companies didn't provide a time frame for this expansion.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesconsumer electronicsskypePhonesKDDIinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?