EQO Communications, a market-leading mobile presence technology provider, announced immediate availability of Mobile Instant Messaging for Skype
, as part of EQO's innovative Mobile Internet Phone Service for Skype product. The software is available for free as a Beta product to consumers via the EQO (pronounced "echo") web site (http://www.eqo.com
) and supports more than 40 different phone handset models from vendors including Nokia, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson.
"In response to tremendous customer demand, we have accelerated our plans to release mobile instant messaging," said Ian Andrew Bell, EQO Communications' Vice President for Marketing and Alliances. "Skype users are consistently requesting this key feature and we are privileged to be the first company to bring it to them."
Mobile Instant Messaging for Skype will enable Skype users to send and receive text messages to other Skype users via their mobile phones, start multiparty chat sessions, and check the status of their buddies, as well as standard features such as Skype calling, incoming Skype call management, and contact list sync.
Using a combination of a phone-resident J2ME client and a presence-enabled Voice-over-IP (VoIP) signaling network, the EQO Mobile Internet Phone Service is capable of bridging online identity, VoIP calling and Instant Messaging services to more than 150 million J2ME-capable mobile phone handsets already in use worldwide. With more than 74 million registered users, Skype is the dominant player in Internet calling and Instant Messaging communications services worldwide.
"With Skype contacts accessible for calling and messaging on users' mobile phones, Skype itself can and will become a more relevant tool in both business and personal communications," said Bill Tam, CEO of EQO Communications. "As we continue on our path to deliver online communities like Skype to as many handsets as possible we think we can play a major part in their growth and relevance."
While the company continues to develop its technology to work with Skype, EQO is also working with partners to extend presence-enabled voice and instant messaging to mobile devices in partnership with other high-profile online communities and wireless carriers.
"The growth of online communities and social networks has been staggering, but their success is limited so long as they remain tied to the PC," said Carl Ford, VP, Content and Community Development for Pulver.com. "Extending presence and availability to mobile phones is a no-brainer and EQO has a bright future enhancing the relevance of these communities in peoples' lives."