The Guardian is reporting that mobile phone operator 3 is planning to launch a Skype handset.

In what would mean free internet calling via a mobile for the masses, the report sees 3 working closely with Skype on the project.

The device itself is said to be being produced by far eastern manufacturers with no spec or features, other than the Skype compatibility, confirmed.

The story suggests that the handset would be launched this year for both pre-pay and contract customers, unlike 3's current Skype offering which is only available via the X Series platform.

Mobile phone operators have always been seen to shy away from VoIP technology, for profit reasons, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.