Skype confirmed at CES that video calling was headed to Verizon Wireless and 4G LTE handsets in the upcoming year. On Friday, the company confirmed that it is negotiating with AT&T to bring Skype video calling to the carrier’s HSPA+ network. Currently, Skype has worked with Verizon Wireless and Skype’s partner Qik has deals with T-Mobile and Sprint. AT&T is the only major U.S. carrier without a video calling product on the table. When discussing AT&T, Skype’s Head of Consumer Product Management, Rick Osterloh said, “Let’s watch out for some announcements there.”
Other entrants in the video calling circle include FaceTime from Apple, Fring, and Tango. While voice quality may be acceptable, the ability to do mobile video calling is highly dependent upon network performance, with most 3G networks unable to deliver a smooth call. This limitation is one of the reasons Apple limited FaceTime to a WiFi-only experience. With the growth of 4G networks such as Verizon’s LTE, Sprint’s WiMAX and T-Mobile’s HSPA+, smooth video calling is one step closer to reality. Once Skype’s mobile video calling rolls out to 4G handsets, it will interesting to see how well it performs when compared to its competitors. It will be a whole different playing field once these Skype-enabled handsets starting landing on wireless networks with speeds of up to 21 Mbps.
[Via PC World]