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Comments

Adam

I'm very curious as to how Skype can cover their overhead and bandwidth expenses without charging even a nominal fee. Can Skype afford to keep this up forever--or are we just seeing an introductory bargain in order to develop more customer loyalty before prices jump a bit...
Again, curious.

John Mahoney - PopSci

That could be a possibility. Skype says the offer stands until the end of the year, and at that point they will decide whether or not to renew it. So we may be paying come January. Not a bad move at all on Skype's part I think--if they prove they can handle the load, people would probably be willing to pay once they get hooked on how easy it is.

Shakir Khawaja

Still need the hotspot - but reducing my bill to nothing is definitely worth $250 - what's your internet + phone bill these days? I'm using a normal high-speed internet account with a internet phone service at a total of $85 Canadian per month - Skype & NetGear have really put an exclamation point on the voice over internet landscape!

Carpie

Sounds good for you city folk but for us country lovers, high speed internet access is only a thing of fantasy. No DSL or cable available and while I could get the satellite disk for $800 and then $80 a month afterwards for sub-cable performance, it's just not very attractive. I'm not going to be able to ditch my phone company until there is a way for me to get to the internet a different way.

MrCamper

This is a great idea, however wifi or hotspots everywhere you go is lacking. Given you may have wifi in your house, in your office, or your local starbucks. But when your on the road? on vacation in an unknown area...where do you get wifi then? Yes some cellphone providers do have EDGE-Wifi data networks, however this networks are mainly in heavily populated areas. Not to mention to have EDGE-Wifi (ex: cingular) you need to first sign up for their Data Connect $19.99 for 5mb a month, then another 39.99 if you want access to their hotspots.(However the data connect is what you need to talk anywhere I think)

"Skype automatically selects the best codec depending on the connection between yourself and the person you are calling. On average, Skype uses between 3-16 kilobytes/sec depending on bandwidth available for other party, network conditions in between, callers CPU performance, etc."(from skype's faq).

Assuming you purchase a 5mb Data Connect plan from cingular you have 1mb = 1024kb 5*1024 = 5120kbs. Thats all bandwidth you get for your month. As quote above a skype call takes anywhere from 3-16 kbs per/sec. Lets say on average a call takes around 10kbs per/sec, 5120kbs/10kbs = 512 secs of talk time 512/60 = 8.533 mins of talk time.

Its a great idea of wifi were all over the place, but its not. And EDGE as you see from the calculation above doesn't save you money. Hopefully in a few years we can all purchase one of these wifi phones pay 35bucks a year and finally forget about those nasty phone bills.

Mark Starr

I love wifi and am wifi crazy (well, gigabit ethernet rocks too). But there is no "free", so lets dispense with that term. A $250 phone is not "free". Paying a $60 cablebill a month no matter what is not "free".

If you were a homeless person, yes, you could mooch off of other peoples wifi connections, but unless you are living in California, such things are very spotty, and often in most places, encrypted and not open access. I run my access point open to all, and wish others would do the same.

I'd buy this, if it were about $50, just for house guests to be able to use a phone. I hate phones myself and don't have one. For that kind of money, you can buy a low end laptop and install Skype on it. My Sony VAIO does fine, and its a $2500 phone. I still prefer ascii over talking, and have only called my girlfriend computer to computer once over it. Phones are annoying. Send me an email instead, let me enjoy my peace and quiet.

AntiBigCorp

It would be as fun to use as it would be paying for it. However, big corp internet providers (MaBell is back, or didn't you notice) will make sure they charge fees to providers for bandwidth use because they have been given powers to do so. No matter how small a bandwidth this technology uses, it adds up for all simultaneous calls when it gets to your voip provider. They will be charged, then in the end, we all will be charged - perhaps higher than todays land line charges.

NC_HEAT

For too long, the Bells have soaked consumers. Personally, Bellsouth SUCKS!!! That's why I went with RoadRunner digital phone. I hope SKYPE puts it to them hard! I'd hate to see them charge after the first of next year and if they do, make it reasonable. Hope the VoIP phone prices come down quickly..........

jonstafari

you people should rethink what's being done here... think how you can make this service work for you, not the other way around.

there's brilliance behind all this...

here's what you do:

1)get a pocket pc or windows mobile handheld
2)install skype for mobile platform(s)
3)sign up for unlimited data through your cellular provider -- unlimited server costs 80 to 90 a month (standar for most if not all cell providers).
4)PAY FOR SKYPE - yeah, 35 a year...

Now, connect your handheld to your Cell providers network, start skype!

VOIP might work for you, it might not - you're replacing the ease of picking up your cellphone and calling, which is a tough sell (think how easy vonage makes it).

The drawback... It's an increase in one bill, but the tradeoff is too good to turn away. Unlimited talk time AND your on the net AND free GPS ... all for 80 a month!

The overall problem with impelmenting the above is that it's beyond the consumers skillset. Maybe that's too harse... but overall, this isnt the easiest connection method for voice/data connectivity. Hopefully this will go beyond Geek status...

UnStuck

Now we just need more little towns to get completely wired. They can attract more of the right kind of people to their smaller communities by advertizing "Free" internet access everywhere in town and then add the cost of City-Wide Wifi to the Tax bill.

Why stop there... put a small wifi web camera on every lightpost and then really put your city on the Google Map.

Imagine: Wifi Hotspots Live Google webcam on every lamp post and free calling with skype...Utopia?

XDORTZT

I THINK THAT IT WILL FOR SURE AS HELL AFFECT THE COMPANIES OF THEPHONE BECAUSE THEY WON'T HAVE ANYMORE PROVIDERS. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GETTING SMARTER ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND I THINK THAT PEOPLE WOULD RATHER TALK OVER A LAPTOP AND OTHER HAND HELP DEVICE FOR FREE TO ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD THAN RATHER PAY LIEK 50 TO 100 DOLLARS IN ORDER TO DO THAT. SOON I THINK IN MY OWN OPINOIN ALMOST EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WILL BE FREE OR JUST IT WILL BE FREE TO TALK TO ANYONE ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME.

anonymous

For the longest time I am using tringotel VoIP service because they are so much cheaper than any other service, and the shipping charges are absolutely free and I guess tringotel have merged with Sunrocket

DSL High Speed Internet Access

Good article about Skype. However, DSL provides a good alternative to VoIP.

Voip providers

There are several advantages using VoIP including the availability of advanced features that standard telephone systems are not capable of and the ability to have a phone number usually associated with a particular local area anywhere in the world.
http://www.voip-catalog.com/ Voip providers.

Chanel Handbags

I won't accept such sort of family though it is quite comfortable. I prefer the family with mom which is not rich but ample in my heart

Health News

I can't believe how much of this I just wasn't aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I'm truly grateful and really impressed.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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