Skype Partners With Wal-Mart

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Internet communications company Skype is partnering with retailer Wal-Mart to offer its hardware in the Internet and voice communications area of Wal-Mart’s 1,800 stores in the U.S.

The partnership gives shoppers access to headsets, webcams and handsets designed to work with Skype, along with pre-paid cards for Skype.

The Skype partnership with Wal-Mart comes at a time when Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) adoption among U.S. households is growing. According to the Telecommunications Industry Association, 9.9 percent of all landlines in the U.S. were VoIP lines in 2006, and this will increase to 34.1 percent by 2010.

"We applaud Wal-Mart for recognizing the popularity of Skype and making it more accessible to Wal-Mart shoppers. This relationship with Wal-Mart will increase exposure for Skype and our hardware partners in a single dedicated Internet communications section," said Don Albert, vice president and general manager of Skype North America.

"Our research suggests that when users add a Skype Certified accessory like a headset, handset or webcam, it greatly enhances their experience and they use Skype more to connect with family, friends and business colleagues."

Skype is used by 196 million registered users worldwide. Users download Skype software to make free voice and video calls and send instant messages over the Internet.

"We have taken a sharp focus to launch the products and brands that consumers are moving toward at the most affordable prices," said Kevin O’Connor, vice president and general merchandise manager, Wal-Mart Electronics.

"The Skype hardware and pre-paid cards are a great fit with Wal-Mart because they offer long-term money-saving solutions at the right time for many customers."


Skype Partners With Wal-Mart
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