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Qtel Group shakes hands with Skype

Operator will offer Skype services on its wi-tribe service in Jordan, Philippines

Qtel Group shakes hands with Skype
Russ Shaw, vice president and general manager for Mobile, Skype and Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Qtel have signed an agreement whereby Qtel will provide Skypr services in Jordan and the Philippines on its wi-tribe broadband network.

The Qtel Group has signed a commercial agreement with Skype to promote the company and its related products over Qtel's mobile broadband subsidiary wi-tribe in Jordan and the Philippines.

Under the agreement wi-tribe, a provider of wireless broadband internet, will enable customers to download Skype software.

"The Qtel Group's strategy for innovation is driven by the needs of our customers, and enabled by partnerships with like-minded companies. We recognise the changes taking place in the market and the increasing customer demand for rich communications solutions, and so have decided to partner with Skype - one of the pioneers in the industry. This is a first-of-its-kind in our Middle East region and we look forward to working closely with Skype to deliver the best possible customer experience," said Dr Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Qtel.

Skype had 145 million average monthly connected users as of December 31st 2010, according to according to TeleGeography in January 2011. The company says that Skype-to-Skype calling minutes in 2010 were equivalent to approximately 20% of total global international PSTN and Skype-to-Skype calling minutes.

With the signing of the agreement, more users in the Middle-Eastern and Asian regions will enjoy accessibility to Skype features such as free Skype-to-Skype calls, instant messaging, low cost calls to landlines and mobiles as well as Group Video Calling.

"We're very excited to be working with the Qtel Group and wi-tribe," said Russ Shaw, vice president and general manager for Mobile, Skype. "wi-tribe is a high performance wireless internet experience with a customer-centric approach, much like Skype. We believe that Skype and service-providers can complement each other to bring greater value for consumers - and have seen successful examples of this around the world. We look forward to working closely with the Qtel Group to progress the wi-tribe partnership and support the growth of the internet ecosystem within the Middle-Eastern and Asian regions."

Skype and wi-tribe will be distributing Skype credit vouchers for customers in the Philippines and in Jordan as a partnership launch offer.  The free vouchers are designed to enable customers to place free calls to landlines and mobiles over Skype using the wi-tribe mobile broadband network.

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