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Skype Mobile Cell Phone Application Debuts

Skype, a VoIP service owned by eBay, has announced a beta version of a new application to run on an initial batch of 50 mobile phones that can run the Java platform. This comes a few days after the company announced new land line fixed rate plans.

Skype mobile will include features such as Skype to Skype, SkypeIn, Skype out as well as Group chat and presence and will debut on a range of phones from the top vendors.

Only eight markets have been selected for now to test Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut.

Surprisingly, most mature markets like Australia, France, Germany and US are excluded from the beta. Users in UK will only have access to the new service.

The beta period will allow Skype to fine tune and tweak the service before rolling Skype mobile worldwide.

Skype already has a client for PocketPC which works only with WiFi hotspots and last year, it launched a Skypephone with Three Network which used the latter’s 3G connection to make calls.

“These are still the early days for making Skype calls on mobile phones, but we’ve already made great strides in this space,” said Gareth O’Loughlin, general manager, mobile and hardware devices at Skype.