All-you-can-eat Skype, anyone? eBay’s troubled little VOIP provider is now pushing an unlimited call plan to overseas phones.
AP reports: For $9.95 per month, Skype users can make unlimited calls to land-line phones in 34 countries. It’s a broad swathe that includes most countries in Europe as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. Depending on which country, calls to cell phones are also included (Canada, China, Hong Kong and Singapore).
Unlimited call plans to the U.S. and Canada have already been available for $3 a month. Skype has another plan in the works, one for $5.95 per month, that will give free calls to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. There’ll also be substantial discounts on calls to other places in Mexico.
This move is perhaps to help Skype remain a viable solution, what with last year’s admission by eBay that they’d paid too much and much current speculation that eBay might just cut its losses and sell.
Skype said it saw subscribers using approximately 1.7 billion minutes in paid calls. For free computer-to-computer calls, they instead saw a total of 14.2 billion minutes.
With many other software solutions for direct PC-to-PC calls, Skype does face major competition. It doesn’t help either that telcos are averse to letting Skype undercut their overseas earnings, blocking Skype where they’re able to. What doesn’t help either is the differing rates and complicated agreements that telcos have over long-distance calls, making it viable for Skype to call only cellphones in certain countries and not others due to the vastly different tariffs involved.