Voice over IP provider Skype on Thursday said it's slashing the cost of sending Short Message Service messages using its service by 50% for the next several days.
Between May 2 and May 8, Skype users who send SMS messages to recipients in the United States, Australia, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Belgium, Thailand, Ireland, Austria, and Italy will be charged half the usual rate. Before the week-long reduction, Skype charged $0.112 per message sent to recipients in the United States, $0.088 to Australia, and $0.063 to Thailand.
SMS messages can be sent by Skype users from their PCs to mobile phones. Skype users also can make free or cheap voice calls and video calls using the company's services.
Skype is trying to persuade people to use its SMS service instead of those offered by cellular carriers. Some of the top U.S. cellular carriers have raised their per-message rates for both sending and receiving SMS, while Skype is offering a reduction in SMS fees, the company said in a statement.
It's not the first time Skype has lashed out against the cellular carriers. In February, the company filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission requesting that the rules of consumer broadband be applied to the wireless industry. Specifically, Skype asked the FCC to open up wireless networks, allowing consumers to use any mobile device they choose on any wireless network with any application.