http://mashable.com/2010/02/16/verizon-skype-official/ On Saturday, we reported on rumors that Verizon and Skype would be announcing a partnership deal at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Well, it?s official. The two companies are announcing what they call a ?strategic relationship that will bring Skype to Verizon Wireless smartphones in March.? Here?s how the Skype mobile and Verizon Wireless partnership will work: - 3G smartphone users with a data plan can make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user around the world. - Calls to international phone numbers will be at the Skype Out calling rate, if made through Skype mobile. - Users can send and receive instant messages to other Skype users and remain connected to see friends? online statuses. The rollout for Skype mobile will be pretty broad, coming to existing phones like the BlackBerry Storm 9540, the Storm 2 9550, the BlackBerry Curve 8330 and 8830 models, the BlackBerry Tour 9630, plus the Motorola DROID, the HTC DROID ERIS and the Motorola DEVOUR. If you have one of those phones and a 3G data plan, you?ll be able to start using Skype mobile when it rolls out in March. Implications for the Future As we noted in Saturday?s post, the implications of this kind of partnership are potentially huge. While Skype or VoIP calling via cellular devices might not become ubiquitous overnight (if it even does become ubiquitous), this is a big move on the part of Verizon. It indicates that the future of the company?s mobile business lies with data services. It makes sense too; clearly there is a lot more profit to be made in selling data subscriptions than bundles of voice minutes. It will be interesting to see how other VoIP and VoIP-like services, as well as other carriers, respond to this announcement.