Onet and Skype join forces

Onet.pl, the largest Polish internet portal, has signed an agreement with Skype Technologies, the owner of the most popular global internet communicator, which will allow the company to expand in the market. According to Puls Biznesu, OnetSkype will be available in a few days’ time and initially it will be just a clone of Skype. Onet.pl plans, however, to enhance it by offering new services (including a dating service), but it is not going to sell advertisements on OnetSkype. Skype has 3.2m users in Poland (and over 40m around the world), while Gadu-Gadu, the market leader among internet communicators, has 4.5m. The agreement with Onet.pl could help it to win first place in the ranking. Skype’s popularity is based on quality and free voice messages between users. It has been offering paid calls to fixed-line and mobile networks for a year and also, since April 2005, a public phone number and the ability to receive calls from such networks. With OnetSkype a one-minute local or long-distance call to fixed-line networks will cost PLN 0.12 (€0.03), and international calls to most EU countries, along with the USA, should cost PLN 0.08 (€0.02) per minute, thus making the communicator competitive with telecommunications operators, as their prices are much higher. By the end of the year there should also be a corporate version of the software available.