Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Totally Skyped Out

Today I used SkypeOut for the first time. Although national rate calls after 6pm only cost 5p for us (we’re on One.Tel, they’re quite good), I wanted to make a long-ish call before then. Although it’s a bank holiday I have no idea whether weekend rates apply today so I was either going to pay no more than 5p or around 2.7p per minute.
SkypeOut works like pay-as-you-go phones – you buy credit which then translates into talktime and then top-up when your credit is low. There’s no monthly fees, though topups only last for 6 months and the minimum you can top up with is €10. Or specifically €11.50 if you live in an EU country since you have to pay VAT on top.
Once you’ve bought credit you’ll find that calls are pretty cheap – around 1p/minute to landlines in most countries including the UK and 16p/minute to UK mobiles. A 23 minute call to my parents on their landline cost €0.41, or 28p – less than half what it would have cost normally. If you make lots of international calls then it really comes into its own – it’s the same price to call the phone on my desk as it would be to call Ben in Australia, on the other side of the world from me.
Sound quality was about what you’d expect from a normal phone call, and each end could hear each other clearly enough. The only slight complaint I had was that I could hear the echo of my voice at the other end on a delay of around 1 second. But then this often happens on international calls so you may well be used to it.
One big advantage for me was being able to use a headset instead of a phone handset, thus keeping both hands free for typing. Not having to dial the number in each time is also quite handy but that’s probably me just being too lazy to enter the numbers into the handset’s memory.
Overall I was very pleased with the service. With a bit of luck it’ll be saving me money in the future.

One Comment

  1. sign up for call1899 and you can ring the states and any uk landline number for free using their voip software. I use it to ring back to the uk from the states for free too 🙂