• 03/03/2009
    4:16 PM
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Skype Adds 'Visible Voice Mail'

The VoIP service is using SpinVox to transcribe voice mails and send them to cell phones as text messages.
Skype is teaming with SpinVox to send transcribed voice mail messages to a user's mobile phone.

The company dubs this "visible voice mail," in which voice mails left on a user's voice-over-IP account can be converted to written messages. This message can then be sent as an SMS message to a user's cell phone or sent as an e-mail.

Each conversion will cost 25 cents, along with standard rates for sending a text message. Because a transcribed voice mail could require multiple SMS messages, users have the option of just receiving a voice mail notification via SMS. Customers can set how many notifications they get a day, and all payments are made through Skype Credit.

"As people continue to spend more time on the move and on their mobile devices, people want to take their Skype conversations with them," said Mike Bartlett, director of product strategy at Skype, in a statement. "SpinVox is a great option for our users to save time on checking their Skype voice mail and receive messages immediately sent to their mobile phone."

This is the latest move by Skype to expand its mobile presence, as it has released applications for Android smartphones and more than 100 Java-capable cell phones. These applications still require customers to use mobile minutes but could potentially save on long-distance or international calls.

Skype also will come preloaded on certain Nokia smartphones, and it will provide true VoIP service over Wi-Fi or 3G data connections. While apps like Skype could potentially hurt a mobile carrier by allowing customers to avoid using wireless minutes, they could also lead to increased revenue by boosting mobile data adoption.

VoIP is a low-cost and low-risk technology that can boost the productivity of a mobile workforce. InformationWeek examined how enterprises can equip their road warriors without breaking the bank, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

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