Under the plans released today customers of the Skype service will able to make unlimited calls to a predetermined country of their choice for the fee of £2.25. The package can also be expanded to include calls to 20 European countries for £3.99 a month, or to 24 countries worldwide which will include US mobiles for £7.99 a month.
These call packages are also free from lengthy contracts, although customers who do decide to sign up for an annual subscription could say another third on the aforementioned prices.
As has been highlighted with broadband providers recently in the news, unlimited rarely means unlimited, and the deals are subject to a fair usage policy implemented by Skype which restricts the user to 10,000 minutes a month. Those 10,000 minutes however calculate to around 5 and a half hours each day!
In the calling plans that are being offered by Skype, all UK based landlines that start in 01 or 02 are included in the deal and places Skype as a direct competitor to BT as well as other established mobile networks that offer bundles of free calls for a monthly subscription fee.
“This move is a natural step for Skype. Skype was founded on the principle of making free voice and video calls available to people all around the world. And now we’re making it even easier for the Skype community to call their friends and family who are not yet on Skype.” – Skype’s vice president and general manager of telecoms Stefan Oberg.
Some analysts have seen the move as a clear indication of the companies eagerness to derive more regular income through monthly subscriptions after Ebay admitted to paying too much for the company in 2005 when it shelled out $4.3billion to buy Skype.