Skype iPhone app dials in 3G calling

Skype has updated its iPhone app on Saturday, bringing with it the ability to make calls over 3G for the first time.

The new update, version 2.0, was rolled out on Saturday 29 May and aside from promising to improve start-up time, adds the ability to make calls away from a Wi-Fi connection and therefore save money on your monthly phone bill.

"Call using your 3G connection. Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G are free until at least end of August 2010, after which there will be a small monthly fee (operator charges for data will still apply)", read the upgrade notes within the Apple iTunes store.

The "small monthly fee" hasn't been stated and suggests that Skype plans to charge for a 3G-call-enabled service having once got people used to the ability to make calls. 

Other improvements include a "near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls using wideband audio (SILK codec) on iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch".

While the new features will work on the 3G iPad, the company hasn't released a dedicated version for the new tablet device from Apple. Users will still have to use the app at double the size.

Upgrades / improvements include:
- Call using your 3G connection. Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G are free until at least end of August 2010, after which there will be a small monthly fee (operator charges for data will still apply).
- Near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls using wideband audio (SILK codec) on iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch.
- Enhanced call quality indicator.
- Improved start-up time.
- Fast access to the dial pad from iPhone home screen.

How will the operators and carriers respond? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE: Skype has issued a statement saying that charges have now been put off until 2011.