There were further signs of a major shift in the wireless industry’s stance against the use of Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) software on their networks, as Verizon Wireless forged an agreement with Skype this week that will enable Verizon’s 91 million customers to download Skype’s popular web calling application for use on their smart phones. Verizon’s announcement on Tuesday at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain comes on the heels of a similar pronouncement by Apple, Inc., which recently cleared the use of VoIP applications on iPhones and other Apple devices that use the AT&T wireless network. Although mobile phone carriers have long opposed the usage of software, such as Skype’s, that facilitates free wireless Internet calls and thus has the potential to cut revenues from traditional voice minutes, a Verizon spokesman predicted that Tuesday’s agreement will spur consumer uptake of wireless data plans, as he explained: “where we see revenue growing is from data services, not voice services.” The pact, which goes into effect in late March, covers nine Verizon smart phones, including Research In Motion’s Blackberry and phones that run on Google’s Android operating system. For Verizon customers that download the software, web calls to other Skype users will be free, although Skype will collect a minimal fee of about 2-3 cents per minute for calls to non-Skype users. Subscribers will also be required to purchase one of Verizon’s data plans (starting at $30 per month) to download and use the Skype calling application. Financial details were not disclosed, although the partners are expected to share revenues. As Verizon chief marketing officer John Stratton boasted that the addition of Skype Mobile to his company’s portfolio “adds great value because we’re effectively giving customers . . . the option to extend their unlimited calling community to hundreds of millions of Skype users around the globe,” Skype CEO Josh Silverman acknowledged, “we’re seeing a real change in attitude with carriers around the world.”