Over a billion minutes of Skype calls have been made on the UK's 3 mobile network since the service was introduced. 3 originally launched Skype on its UK network in October 2007, making it free for all customers in May 2009. And each day, around three million minutes of free Skype-to-Skype calls are made using mobile phones on the 3 network.
In the kind of coincidence reserved for PR events, the call including the billionth minute was made by Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Minister for Digital Britain, when talking to the CEO of medical aid charity Merlin. 3 recently donated five Skypephones to Merlin so that UK-based staff could stay in touch with colleagues on the ground in Haiti.
Russ Shaw, the general manager of EMEA and Mobile at Skype, said "Bringing Skype and 3 together has helped people to talk to friends, family or colleagues from their mobile phone, whatever the circumstances, without the worry of running up large phone bills, even if it’s an international call. We have helped to make it possible for anyone, from friends contacting family or loved ones to colleagues liaising during a crisis, to communicate no matter where they are. Passing the billion minutes milestone shows just how important this is to people."