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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetskypePhonesconsumer electronicsKDDIInternet-based applications and services

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?