Verizon Wireless smartphone owners with data plans will soon be able to use the Skype VoIP service directly on their handsets, thanks to a new "strategic relationship" announced at Mobile World Congress.

The two companies have created what they call "an exclusive, easy-to-use Skype mobile offering for 3G smartphones". It means that eligible Verizon users will be able to make and receive "unlimited" (presumably not unlimited, and with fair-usage policies) Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user around the globe, send and receive messages via Skype and call international numbers at Skype rates.

Skype mobile will be available from March on the BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition and Tour 9630 smartphones, as well as Droid by Motorola, Droid Eris by HTC and Motorola Devour.

"Skype mobile on Verizon Wireless changes the game. For Verizon Wireless' more than 90 million customers, Skype mobile adds great value because we’re effectively giving customers with smartphones and data plans the option to extend their unlimited calling community to hundreds of millions of Skype users around the globe", John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless said in a press release.