Can you see me now? 4 reasons why video calling is ready to take off

Editor’s note: This April 25-26, VentureBeat is hosting its inaugural VentureBeat Mobile Summit, where we’ll debate the five key business and policy challenges facing the mobile industry today. Participants will develop concrete, actionable solutions that will shape the future of the mobile industry. The invitation-only event, located at the scenic and relaxing Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., is limited to 180 mobile executives, investors and policymakers.

Vivox and T-Mobile turn Facebook into a phone company

Vivox, a voice app maker, is partnering with mobile carrier T-Mobile today to turn Facebook into a phone company. Together, they have created the Bobsled by T-Mobile app that lets Facebook users call each other for free with a single click on a PC.

Skype’s newest feature: ugly ads

As if Skype’s interface needed more clutter, the Internet voice and video chat company announced today that it’s bringing advertising to its service.

Is Skype about to release video-calling for mobile devices?

Skype, a provider of voice and video calling services over the Internet, might be poised to release video calling for mobile devices equipped with a front-facing camera and running Skype at the Consumer Electronics Show next year, according to a number of reports.

Skype competitor magicTalk launching on Christmas

VocalTec already has a major hit with its magicJack internet phone device, but now the company is ready to step up and offer completely free calls to users with the launch of its magicTalk service on Christmas.

Nabto nabs $1 million in funding for tiny web servers

Nabto makes web technology for devices like medical appliances (see Medotech’s Grindcare) and building automation devices. The Danish startup just closed a new funding round combining funds from previous investor Østjysk Innovation, the Danish government-backed fund Vækstfonden and some private investors. The new financing will mainly be used to boost Nabto’s sales and marketing.

Viber gets 1M downloads in 3 days for dead simple iPhone VoIP calls

Just when you thought Voice over IP (VoIP) couldn’t be exciting again, along comes Viber with its free iPhone app for simple VoIP calls. After launching on December 2nd, the company reports that the app has been downloaded over 1 million times in its first three days.

Finally, the official Google Voice iPhone app hits the App Store

It’s been a long haul for Google, but now iPhone owners can finally download an official Google Voice iPhone app — giving them access to even more Google Voice features than the current web app, although still not as many as Android users enjoy.

Nimbuzz clocks up 3.65 billion mobile VOIP minutes in a year

Voice over Internet protocol, or VOIP, just keeps getting bigger. The Nimbuzz mobile application integrates voice, chat and messaging from multiple providers like Skype, Microsoft and Google. The company just announced that it surpassed 3.65 billion mobile voice minutes in the last year. About half of these minutes were paid calls via Nimbuzz Out whereas the the rest were free calls between Nimbuzz users. Nimbuzz is consistently in the top 5 downloads on Getjar, an app store which serves multiple mobile platforms, and Nokia’s Ovi store.

Internet phone company Jajah aims to revamp the crooked calling card industry

Jajah, the internet phone company that was snapped up by Spanish telecom giant Telefonica for $207 million, is declaring war on calling cards. The company is announcing today a calling card of its own that it’s dubbing “the world’s first honest calling card.”

Official Google Voice app finally headed to the iPhone?

A few weeks ago, third-party Google Voice apps for the iPhone started getting approved by Apple. Now it appears that we may soon see the official Google Voice app on the iPhone, sources tell TechCrunch.

DEMO: Touchring lets you make phone calls from social networks

Touchring is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

DEMO: Sococo will let you detect sarcasm over the Internet

Sococo is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

DEMO: Zingaya brings VOIP to toll-free calls

Zingaya is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Gmail users place 1M calls in 24 hours

It looks like Gmail users are already taking advantage of the cheap calling that Google launched yesterday. The company announced via Twitter that there were 1 million calls placed from Gmail in 24 hours.

Google’s latest (promotional) product: Phone booths

It looks like Google is getting a little old-fashioned to promote its Google Voice service. It is installing telephone booths with the classic red look in airports and universities.

Google brings free US calls to Gmail

Google announced today that it will allow users to make phone calls directly from Gmail — because, apparently, I don’t spend enough time in Gmail already.

MagicJack company VocalTec aims for free calling frontier with magicTalk

VocalTec, the company behind the popular magicJack internet phone device, has an even more ambitious plan for delivering phone calls via the web: making them free. The company is readying a new product, dubbed magicTalk, that will let users make completely free phone calls from their computers, smartphones, and iPads, reports the AP.

Skype files for IPO

The internet calling service Skype is finally gearing up for an Initial Public Offering. In a registration statement with the SEC, the company (whose CEO, Josh Silverman, is pictured to the right) announced that it intends to raise a maximum of $100 million through the offering, and that it will list the stock on the Nasdaq. The filing leaves some details ambiguous, so the actual IPO amount may end up being much more, or less, than $100 million.

Apple’s iPhone 4 will usher in a wave of mobile video conferencing

Now that Gizmodo has outed Apple’s next generation iPhone, we finally have some idea of what Apple is planning with its next release — and it’s more than just a simple speed bump like the iPhone 3G. In addition to a slew of design changes and other upgrades, the next iPhone apparently features a front-facing camera, which is integral for mobile video conferencing.

Dell reboots laptops: They’re meant for talking

Take that, smartphones! Dell is launching a new line of laptops for corporate users with features that make it a lot easier to use your computer as your main communications device.

Verizon and Skype partner for 3G-enabled Skype mobile

Not too long after Apple dropped its VoIP restrictions on the iPhone, we reported that Skype was eagerly working on a 3G-enabled version of its iPhone application. Now we’ve learned that Verizon and Skype have teamed up for a 3G-enabled version of Skype mobile on several of its smartphones as well.

Apple drops VoIP-over-3G restrictions on the iPhone

While the Apple iPad is dominating tech news left and right, there was another bit of news from the company yesterday that should be noted: Apple has removed restrictions that previously prevented VoIP iPhone applications from working over 3G. This unleashes a world of opportunity for VoIP applications, which have only worked over Wi-Fi thus far.

AT&T: Just kidding! VoIP apps like Skype can run on our network

AT&T, the iPhone’s exclusive wireless carrier in the United States, said it has paved the way for Apple to let voice-over-Internet-protocol apps like Skype run on its 3G network instead of only on nearby Wi-Fi connections.

Mobile VoIP is driving net neutrality

(Editor’s note: Larry Golob is senior director of business development for Global IP Solutions, a technology creator of real-time voice and video over IP.)