US mobile phone network provider, Sprint, has announced an iPod touch case that adds 3G connectivity to the Apple device's arsenal, and effectively turns it into a phone.

The ZTE Peel attaches to the phone and connects to Sprint's 3G network to give iPod touch users the benefit of all-over internet coverage, and that means connection to their Skype or alternative VoIP accounts. Using those, calls can be made to landlines, mobiles or other VoIP users.

The only drawback is that there is a limit on the amount of internet access available to the Sprint subscriber per month. It is capped at 1GB (on 3G) per month with the carrier's ZTE Peel $29.99 monthly service plan, so interested parties will have to be careful how much voice-calling they partake in. However, on the up side, there's no annual contract.

Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development of Sprint said: "ZTE Peel unlocks the wonderful user interface and Web experience of Apple’s popular iPod touch and transforms it into a powerful mobile device using the Sprint 3G network".

"When combined with Sprint’s 3G network, ZTE Peel turns an iPod touch from a portable device limited by the availability of Wi-Fi to a mobility tool free to browse the Web and use applications anytime, anywhere while on Sprint’s 3G network".

The ZTE Peel costs $79.99 and will be available from 14 November both online and through Sprint's regular retail outlets.

Sadly, no UK carrier is currently known to be looking at the device for the British 3G network.

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