Eqo Communications Inc today will launch its Mobile Instant Messaging for Skype platform, which gives IM capabilities to Skype users on more than 40 J2ME-capable mobile phones from vendors including Nokia, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson.
The IM platform is an extension of Eqo’s Mobile Internet Phone Service for Skype, which it launched in February.
The new mobile IM platform enables Skype users to send and receive text messages to other Skype users on their cell phones, start multiparty chat sessions and check the status of their buddies. It also includes standard features such as Skype calling, incoming Skype call management and contact list sync.
Eqo’s VP of marketing and alliances Ian Andrew Bell said the company currently is in discussions with a number of other VoIP vendors to develop similar mobile products for their platforms. Everything we do for Skype we can do for AOL, Yahoo, Google and MSN, he said.
Vancouver, Canada-based Eqo also is waiting for some features from Google Inc to extend Google Talk to mobile devices, Bell said.
While Google Talk uses the Jabber presence network, Bell said most mobile clients for Jabber are freeware or shareware based. What they don’t do is have any voice-centric context and what’s where we stand above the crowd, he said.
Eqo’s mobile services for Skype are free, but the company plans to work with wireless carriers to enable them to build products and services to access these online communities, Bell said.
Eqo currently is in talks with a number of wireless carriers and expects to make partnership announcements later this year, potentially as soon as the third calendar quarter, he said.
After Eqo inks carrier deals, Eqo users could continue to use its services at no charge, Bell said. It will just work better with wireless carriers.