Thursday, May 18, 2006

Skype waives fee for US and Canadian landline numbers

Skype once again raised the bar on other VoIP competitors, announcing on Tuesday that calls made to landlines and cellphones from a PC--as a part of the company's SkypeOut service--will now be free. The free landline and cellphone calls will be limited to Skype users and numbers based in the United States and Canada. Previously, Skype users would have to pay a fee to make calls to cellphone and land-based numbers. The fees will be waived until the end of the year.

Skype says it hopes the move will increase "penetration in North America." That Skype is free to download and free to use has already helped the service achieve the milestone of more than 100 million users. The latest move by the company is an attempt to drive that number up even more.

Earlier this month, Vonage enhanced its VoIP subscription service to include free international calls to France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom for those users with unlimited plans. Skype may have felt some pressure to entice users to its service even more. Free calls may indeed be one way to do that for users who don't mind making phone calls using a PC.

Read more from the Skype press release.

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