got information, that Skype is Beta testing a new Skype to SMS service in the
London-based Connectotel has developed technology that allows SMS (Short Message Service) messages to be sent to users of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handsets via Skype's p-to-p (peer-to-peer) network,
according to Connectotel's business development and technical director, Spencer Gun.
Skype users could already receive SMS messages using the "SMS
to Skype" service launched three weeks ago. Connectotel began a beta test of
its "Skype to SMS" service with selected users on Friday, Gun said Friday.
The beta test is currently limited to sending messages to the U.K. and it
was unclear Friday when the service might be ready for commercial use.
To use the Skype to SMS service, Skype users must first add "smsgateway" to
their list of contacts, and then initiate a chat session with that contact.
Once they've initiated the session, they can add the U.K. phone number for
the person they want to send the message to -- in its full international
format -- followed by their message.
The Skype to SMS service is free during the beta test period. But there is a cost to providing the
service, and Connectotel hopes Skype will participate, according to Gun.
"For the beta test, we have purchased SMS messages in bulk to get a good
price of less than 3 pence ($0.06) per message, so we're currently paying
for the service," he said. "What we would like to do is have the billing
managed through the existing SkypeOut prepaid service. We're in talks with
Skype about this possibility."
That's a pretty interesting development. I know of many "web to SMS" gateways
in the past which failed to create a business, mostly because of payment
problems. Nevertheless, a good part of the Skype users have a SkypeOut account
already (SkypeOut is a credit system to use Skype to call regular and mobile
phones all over the world. It's not free, but it's pretty cheap and I'm using it
often if I'm abroad) which can be used for Skype to SMS pretty good!
So overall it's an interesting development that Skype is pretty active to increase
their business and expand it more and more into the classical carrier space.
BTW: I wasn't aware anyway that I can receive SMS with Skype, was you?
Cheers ~ Arne
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