Skype strikes deal to transmit voice messages to mobiles

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The Independent Online

Skype, the internet telecoms group owned by eBay, will unveil a deal tomorrow with Spinvox, the UK voice-to-text technology company, as it begins an aggressive strategy to become a global communications giant.

The company, which enables its customers to make phone calls over the internet (VoIP), will announce the tie-up with Spinvox at 3GSM, the global convention for the mobile telecoms industry, in Barcelona.

The agreement will see Skype use Spinvox technology to transfer voice messages left on its customers' computers to their mobile phones in the form of text messages.

Daniel Doulton, the co-founder of Spinvox, said: "The issue with VoIP has always been that when you are not logged in at your computer, no one can contact you. This deal will change that."

Spinvox will unveil a suite of new products at 3GSM, including Spin-my-blog, a service that converts voice messages to posts on a blog, and Spin-my-memo, which sends reminders, memos and notes left on a mobile to an email address.

Spinvox already has 130,000 subscribers to its original product which converts mobile voicemail to text messages.

The company employs 160 staff in the UK and hopes to expand further as mobile internet services grow in popularity and connection speeds rise.

Christine Domecq, a co-founder of Spinvox, said: "We will sign deals with 15 mobile carriers this year."

Vodafone, the largest mobile group in the world outside China, signed a deal last week with MySpace that will give its customers access to the social networking site from mobile phones.

MySpace, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for $580m (£297m) in 2005, wants to expand by launching a number of European language sites as well by offering mobile and video services. It has 80 million unique visitors a month. The service will be launched in Britain by June.

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