Venture Beat says the partnership will allow Facebook users to easily log into Skype using Facebook Connect and will give users the ability to text message, voice chat, and even video chat with their Facebook friends from within Skype. It’s expected to appear in Skype’s upcoming 5.0 version, which will emerge from beta testing in the next few weeks.
Facebook Connect allows users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site.
Skype had 124 million people using it at least once a month and 560 million registered users, which will be bolstered by the 500 million Facebook users who will now be able to use it more seamlessly within Skype.
Monica Paolini at Fierce Wireless notes that as long as you have a WiFi access point, and a Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) handset, you can make and receive calls over your WiFi connection. When a call is placed to a handset with a UMA connection, the UMA gateway routes the call through the WiFi access point the handset it connected to. When a UMA handset initiates a call, the cellular core network manages it as if it were a cellular call
It also saves roaming charges. When you are abroad, you can connect to a WiFi access point and make calls as if you were in your country.
In the U.S., T-Mobile USA is the only operator that offers UMA on some of their WiFi phones, but an Android handset with WiFi/cellular voice integration would be a powerful tool. How married Google is to the cellular operators remains to be seen.