Skype's VoIP software is to be pre-installed on i-mate wireless and mobile handsets from Carrier Devices.
Newly manufactured i-mate PDA2 and PDA2K Pocket PC phones will come with Skype's software for making calls over the Internet. The handsets will be equipped out of the box for users to start making Skype calls.
The phones use Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs and have both GSM/GPRS and Wi-Fi. Carrier Devices also plans to put the Skype software in its i-mate JAM, a smaller version of the handset. With the Skype software, users can make calls over a broadband Internet connection through a Wi-Fi network, bypassing the GSM/GPRS provider.
Skype makes peer-to-peer VoIP software that lets users make voice calls to any other Skype user on the Internet for free. Customers can also make calls to fixed-line and mobile phones in countries around the world at a fraction of the cost of conventional international phone calls. Skype's software can be installed on some other Windows-based phones.
Earlier this month Skype announced a deal with Hutchison, a fixed-line carrier in Hong Kong, for a co-branded VoIP service. Last year Skype joined with Siemens to offer a USB adapter device for some Siemens cordless phones that lets users make Skype calls.
I-mate, based in Dubai, has carrier and distributor partners across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Russia, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is now planning a US launch.