As data bundles become more prevalent, it's natural to see Skype as a thorn in the side of mobile operators' voice offerings. A new direct billing deal with carriers announced today, however, could prove that the two can play nice. While it's not a full embrace, it effectively means that operators could sell you Skype credit directly, and not be cut out of the loop completely. There are no details on what arrangements between operators and Skype will look like, but from the user's perspective, it's another welcome payment option. The service has been on the cards for some time now, with some operators expressing an interest for even longer. Skype tells us that the service is live today with an unnamed Russian operator, with promise of it coming to the US and Canada soon. As GigaOM points out, Mach -- who the VoIP provider is partnering with -- lists T-Mobile, Telus and Verizon Wireless among its client list. So, while nothing is confirmed, there's a heads-up over which operators might get the facility first.