Skype is working on launching an Indian-centric version of its app that will work on 2G and 3G networks in the country, and on devices with limited processing capabilities.
Although several major cities in India are blanketed by 3G (with 4G going mainstream later this year), most of the towns — particularly those in the rural regions — are still on 2G connectivity, prompting Skype to launch an app which will work on low-speed networks.
Also, given that most of the device sales occur in the low-end category, with the Lumia 520 and Lumia 535 outpacing all other Windows Phones in terms of volume, Skype is looking to increase its userbase by catering to entry-level Lumia (and Asha) handsets. Another goal for Skype is to improve its experience as a whole to match that of the competition, which includes the likes of Viber, Line and Hike.
According to Skype spokesperson Filipp Seljanko, speaking to The Indian Express:
India's 2G and 3G network, as well as the mix of phones in use, pose very specific challenges for us. The new application will be much lighter than the one now available, and will require far less computation resources and memory.
Seljanko also offered his views on the net neutrality debate that has taken center-stage in India, stating:
It its true applications like ours eat into operators' revenues.
However, it isn't that this is a zero sum game. There were similar problems in the United States and Europe, which we addressed by finding ways for mobile service providers to enhance their revenues by selling data.
The fact is that telephony companies are charging tariffs for voice traffic that the technology just does not justify. Their model has to change. However, this is an opportunity for them, not a crisis.
Indian readers, are you excited that a less resource-intensive version of Skype will be available in the country shortly?
Source: The Indian Express