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Norwegian company IPdrum yesterday launched a system that connects the Skype VoIP network to mobile phones.

You'll note the use of the plural there. IPdrum's Mobile Skype Cable requires two handsets, one which connects to a host PC's USB and audio ports using the aforementioned cable, and the other to make and take calls from wherever you happen to be at the time.

Norwegian company IPdrum yesterday launched a system that connects the Skype VoIP network to mobile phones.

You'll note the use of the plural there. IPdrum's Mobile Skype Cable requires two handsets, one which connects to a host PC's USB and audio ports using the aforementioned cable, and the other to make and take calls from wherever you happen to be at the time.

The first handset bridges Skype and the mobile network. Skype operates, as usual, across the host computer's broadband Internet connection. IPdrum's software routes incoming calls via the first handset, which sends them out across the mobile network to the second phone.

To make a call, you dial the number of the stationary handset, and IPdrum's code patches the call through to Skype. Calls to other Skype users are free, but conversations to others are charged according to the VoIP company's current SkypeOut rate. Calls costs between the two handsets will depend on the user's contract and tariff.

As such, calls to local users may work out no cheaper than dialing direct. However, the system potentially makes international calls much less expensive, thanks to Skype's own low-cost tariff.

IPdrum's Mobile Skype Cable currently runs only under Windows XP, though the company said it intends to support other operating systems. The product connects to Nokia and SonyEricsson phones, with Motorola-, Samsung- and Siemens-supporting versions in the pipeline. Available exclusively from IPdrum's website, the cable costs $70 plus local sales taxes.


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