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Skype, German Cellco Converge 3G, VoIP

Voice-over-IP vendor Skype said Thursday that it is partnering with German cellular operator E-Plus, enabling the operator's customers to use VoIP over a cellular data network.

Skype said in a statement that, starting in October, its software will be bundled with each E-Plus flat-rate 3G cellular data subscription. Skype said it is its first partnership with a cellular operator. Many market analysts have said that wireless VoIP has the potential to compete directly with cellular operators.

In a statement, Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom said he believes this VoIP being offered via cellular data networks is a trend that he thinks will continue.

"We look forward to working with other innovative mobile operators around the world to bring the value and convenience of the Skype global Internet communications experience to their millions of mobile phone subscribers," Zennstrom said.

E-Plus claims it has just under 10 million subscribers.