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Update: A Skype representative told VentureBeat that Skype had chosen tokeep its app out of the U.S. Ovi store because of a pre-existing deal with Verizon. You can download Skype for Nokia Symbian phones by opening from your phone browser.

Nokia adds Skype to Ovi store,” says an Engadget post being circulated this morning. Americans are in for a disappointment: Ovi doesn’t offer Skype to customers on AT&T and other U.S. networks. It doesn’t show up in the store for Americans. The Ovi website returns the error,”Sorry, this item is not available for your country.”

There’s a workaround we’ve tested at VentureBeat: Go to Ovi and install the free Fring client. After you register a username and password with Fring, it will prompt you to configure several add-ons, one of which is Skype.

Give Fring your Skype username and password. It will connect to Skype and show your contacts. When you press the telephone-handset icon to make a call, Fring will prompt you with four options: Fring call, Video call, Cellular call, and SkypeOut call.

SkypeOut will let you dial any phone in the world. You need to include a plus sign and the country code, such as +4152719629 for U.S. numbers. Skype’s super-cheap rates apply — 2.5 cents per minute or about $1.50 an hour for the continental USA. If you don’t have unlimited minutes on your plan, Skype via Fring is a cheap way to make voice calls once you’ve used up your plan’s monthly allotment.

The one big shortcoming of Internet calls is the two-way delay of up to several seconds between the time one party speaks, and the time the other party hears it. This delay prevents fast, real-time conversations where both people talk at the same time. You end up trading sentences back and forth, the way cops and cab drivers do with their dispatchers. A radio talk show producer told me it drives them crazy because of the dead air space between the host’s question to a caller, and the caller’s reply. You get what you pay for.

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