Verizon and Skype are to launch a new service in March allowing Verizon customers with data plans to place and receive Skype calls and instant messages.
The companies will initially offer the service over Verizon's 3G network on nine smartphone models, including six BlackBerry handsets and three Android smartphones from HTC and Motorola.
Verizon is aiming the service primarily at US users looking to make international calls without incurring the hefty long-distance charges that come with normal mobile connections.
"Skype mobile on Verizon Wireless changes the game," said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon.
"For Verizon Wireless' more than 90 million customers, Skype mobile adds great value because we are effectively giving customers with smartphones and data plans the option to extend their unlimited calling community to hundreds of millions of Skype users around the globe."
Many carriers have been uneasy about integrating VoIP features into their smartphone services. Most notably, Apple and Google have been at odds over allowing the Google Voice service on the iPhone.
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