Motorola's Skype deal may tick off cell phone companies

As my colleague Ben Charny reports, Motorola will be pre-loading Skype software to "a select number" of new Wi-Fi enabled cell phones it is planning.Motorola says to expect initial product sometime before July of this year.

As my colleague Ben Charny reports, Motorola will be pre-loading Skype software to "a select number" of new Wi-Fi enabled cell phones it is planning.

Motorola says to expect initial product sometime before July of this year.

I believe this is exciting news. Rather than be forced to opt for a fee-ridden cellular phone plan, free or bundled-in VoIP will give at least some cell phone users a choice.

The Wi-Fi component of this set-up wouldn't be of thehot-spot variety. This would be more of a short-range transmission thing. Your Motorola phone would likelyobtain Wi-Fi connectivity by hooking up toyour existing broadband connection at your office or home.

So, you'll still need broadband. If you plan on using your cell as a replacement for your land line, you won't need a cellular phone plan if you limit your cell to home use.

To my mind, the Skype deal sounds like an effort on Motorola's part to grant its users some independence from the cell oligopoly. "Biting the hand that feeds them" isn't a total metaphoric stretch. This can't make the cell phone companies - many of whom offer Motorola cell phones -happy.

Look for them to fight back on many fronts.

What's your prediction? And would you buy a Skype Wi-Fi cell phone from Motorola. Let us know by posting a TalkBack.

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