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Skype on Three’s X-Series – The TEST!

One of the biggies with the X-Series from Three is the ability to use Skype on your handset. As part of the X-Series deal, you get 5,000 inclusive (“unlimited”) minutes worth of Skype calls — around 2.5 hours a day.

I wasn’t expecting much from the service.

In fact I was expecting nothing short of rubbish.

I have a rather practical outlook when it comes to mobile devices and services that consumers are meant to be using. When my friend James was desperate to show off Skype running on his M2000 Orange Windows Mobile handset, I was only too happy to oblige. I called him, he stood next to his wireless router, answered the call and, hey presto, we were talking. But, the echo from his speaker rendered the service more or less unusable unless he got himself a headset. No problem, the technology worked ok.

Trying this over GRPS or 3g… well… it was just appalling.

So, it is with no small amount of interest that I downloaded Skype on to my N73 and tried it. I activated the X-Series service on Thursday — but couldn’t dial out on Skype via the handset until the next day. Fair enough. Everything had to be activated and whatnot.

‘How the hell does it work, though?’ — That’s what I really wanted to know. Surely it’s not going to use 3g data to transfer the call? Although Three is fast, I wasn’t sure it would be quick enough, well, actually, I was worried about the inherent latency. I needn’t have worried though. The solution is this: Three acts as the voice gateway between your handset and Skype.

So when I click on ‘Ed’ to try and call him, Skype initiates a GSM call (or, well, what looks like a GSM call) to a ‘Skype Services’ number (which looks like a standard +44 mobile number). Then — I imagine — Skype Services rings Ed’s Skype on his laptop… he answers… we’re connected. At least, that’s how it looks like it works to me.

Anyway — Right… Let’s have a look at it then…

Screenshot0041.jpg

I’ve clicked on the Skype logo and that’s it loading…

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Now let’s sign in…

Screenshot0013.jpg

That’s it updating and seeing who, from my list of contacts, is online…

Screenshot0014.jpg

That’s the list completed an update… so let’s click the green call button on the handset and see what happens…

Screenshot0015.jpg

That’s it initiating the call…

Screenshot0016.jpg

Now it’s initiating the GSM portion of the call, to call Skype Service…

Screenshot0017.jpg

That +44 number quickly changes to ‘Skype Service’…

Screenshot0018.jpg

And guess what, I’m talking to Ed. At no charge. Wooosh! Wow!

He reckoned the audio quality was more or less perfect. There was a bit of static now and again on the line, but nothing that interfered with our conversation. Very cool.

Now, it works the same way if someone’s calling you. I forgot that I’d left Skype running on my N73 when I was out yesterday afternoon and was astonished to see someone calling my Skype via the N73. Love it.

This is very, very, very good.

It works and I am impressed.

Now, what I’d really like to try: Three-to-Three Skype call. No one I know has a Three N73 yet, though, so I’ll need to wait to try this out.

Skype via X-Series: Officially shit-hot!

Update: Some Skype Mobile features missing that I hope to see soon:
– Ability to send a chat message to someone
– Ability to view missed calls
– Ability to set your status (away, busy, so on)

Update2: If you send me a chat message via Skype whilst I’m using it on the N73, you’ll get this sent automatically in reply:

Ewan @ SMS Text News 03/12/2006 21:10
Auto reply: I am using a version of Skype that does not support receiving chat messages. Try calling instead.

Nifty!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

27 replies on “Skype on Three’s X-Series – The TEST!”

[…] Primo test di Skype (iSkoot) sui cellulari 3 X-Series Sembra funzionare molto bene. Come sappiamo non è Skype, ma iSkoot e le chiamate viaggiano sulla normale rete GSM… Mancano ancora Chat, Mood messages e possibilità di cambiare il proprio status. (tags: voip skype mobile iskoot three tre h3g x-series) […]

If you have SkypeIn you can receive calls from landlines and mobiles through Skype on your Three mobile. Although officially this isn’t a feature it works. It does take a while longer to start ringing than on your PC however.

Also, the Skype on Three client blocks out SkypeOut numbers you may have in your contacts. But sometimes it misses some. While it missed my friends mobile number I clicked it and dialled out through Skype to her mobile. I wasn’t charged by Three for the call, while the call listed on my Skype billing and came off my Skype balance. Proving SkypeOut will work when Three stop blocking it.

All in all, very kewl!!!

One problem though, my Nokia N73 battery only lasts 2 days with moderate email/txt use and few calls. Can anyone tell me if that’s normal? Maybe leaving Skype running drains the battery more??

Hi Ewan,

nice review thanks – if you still want to try the 3 to 3 skype call i’ve sent you a message to try it – but it was from a diff name e-mail me and ill contact you on my phone

your right about one things is awesome – and all the features you want to see are being added early in january accordingto 3

Pete

Heya, this is great news! I am getting this service as soon as I am back in the UK. I have one question though, does the call to the Skype service get taken out of your minutes? Does it actually not cost you a thing to ring another skype member? Seems almost too good to be true!

I have had my N73 for two days now, have used yahoo messenger, MSN messenger, and skype.

This is a great piece of kit, I love it.
But I have a bit of a problem with skype.
Do I have to input my username and password eachtime I log on to skype?

I cant see how I can sign in automatically without the hassle of typing all that stuff in, no box to tick like skype on my mac, am I being a bit thik here?

Thanks in advance for your help guys

Just don’t turn off your skype …… I found skype for my n73 under cingular in the US but since it is the 3 version it crashes. Everything was great except for when i pressed continue, them it crashed. Too bad 3 isn’t in the states

I found the solution.
If u want ur skype to be off, but still able to sign in automatically, in options, just exit as opposed to sign out. !!

A feature of my desktop version I would like to see on mobile is the one where it can update my status on a skype link I have on my website.
Anyone know when the next update is due?

What about battery life?
With the phone fully charged and using Skype and MSN how long is it likely to last?

2Greg:

Greg mentioned something along the lines: to bad 3 is not in states. Actually Cingular is 3 (actually the other way around) but still……

Skype out is working just three they are blocking (filters or something :((( ) our contact list with skype out numbers. sometimes those filters dosen’t working proper so I get all skype out numbers and I can call using skype balance.
Right know I’m looking for a solution how i can bypass those filters.

Anyone know anymore about Skypeout? are they going to release it? Mine ocasionally brings up my contacts and can use it

Skypeout service on my Nokia E65 seems hit or miss. Sometimes the Three Skype application blocks Skypeout numbers. They just don’t appear on the user interface … at other times these are listed and, when called, work seamlessly at normal Skype charge rates (very inexpensive). Inbound calls always seem to be announced as ‘Skype Service’, rather than showing the name of the caller. However, as you would expect, calls from all over the world are crystal clear. Great facility.

Where do i find the file to install SKYPE on my N73?
Have been searching and had no luck!

I got my E65 two days ago on 3. I live in Australia, but my family and friends are all on skype so this is how we keep in touch. I’ve had them call me while I am out in the pub, and the clarity is as you say – very very very good. Well impressed! How cheap is that! Just downloaded google maps too and that’s all I want in a phone! (until the iphone comes out)

I have been using skype on my Nokia E65 and it works great.

I’m using the same username as my PC but I’m thinking of changing this to username_mob or similar. That way I can change the settings on my PC to forward the calls to a skypeout number. I just call my normal username on skype and presto… I can call any number in the world 🙂

Has anyone tried this?

Hi Folks,

Can anyone answer this scenario for me please?

I am looking at getting a couple of Three Nokia E65 phones (one for me and the girlfriend). We frequently travel between the USA, Hong Kong and the UK. Will it be possible to make skype calls between our Three phones if one is in the USA say and the other is in the UK or any other of the possible country to country possibilities that I have listed?

This is probably an easy question for you to answer so please excuse my niavity about Skype!

Thanks,

Mark

@Mark:

UK to Hong Kong or vice versa: Yes because ‘3 like home’ means you can roam onto 3’s overseas network for no additional cost, but why wouldn’t you just make regular phone calls as any free calling allowance would still be valid?

USA to Hong Kong or UK: No the costs would be the same as ringing the UK (so no advantage). However, if the USA person was on computer-based Skype or used another Skype client that could use a WiFi connection this would work.

skypein works on 3 ?????????? this would be a dream if it did…….. this is the missing link on the skype x series any news will it ever happen if it has how do it set it up???????

SkypeIn does it really work. on 3?…..as posted by Neil:

If you have SkypeIn you can receive calls from landlines and mobiles through Skype on your Three mobile. Although officially this isn’t a feature it works. It does take a while longer to start ringing than on your PC however.

Also, the Skype on Three client blocks out SkypeOut numbers you may have in your contacts. But sometimes it misses some. While it missed my friends mobile number I clicked it and dialled out through Skype to her mobile. I wasn’t charged by Three for the call, while the call listed on my Skype billing and came off my Skype balance. Proving SkypeOut will work when Three stop blocking it.

All in all, very kewl!!!

One problem though, my Nokia N73 battery only lasts 2 days with moderate email/txt use and few calls. Can anyone tell me if that’s normal? Maybe leaving Skype running drains the battery more??

Posted by Neil on December 15th, 2006 at 4:32 pm.

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