Skype Offers Free Calls to Phones and Mobiles in US & Canada
Skype has just called the VOIP bluff of Vonage, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, AIM Phoneline, Ma Bell and other competitors by announcing that Skype outbound calls to normal phonelines and mobile phones will now be free in the US and Canada.
From the Skype release : Skype has now removed any cost barrier for its American and Canadian customers to keep in touch with friends, family and business associates. Skype anticipates that completely free calling in the US and Canada will expand Skype’s increasing penetration in North America and solidify Skype’s position as the Internet’s voice communication tool of choice. More people will now have the chance to benefit from Skype’s premium services and online calling capabilities.
“Millions of consumers around the world are flocking to Skype every month, and we believe free SkypeOut calling will rapidly accelerate Skype adoption in the US and Canada,” said Henry Gomez, General Manager, Skype North America. “We’re very excited to be bringing Skype’s convenience and voice quality to so many people for free.”
While SkypeOut calls within the US and Canada will now be free, SkypeOut calls to and within all other countries will continue to incur charges. Those charges are unchanged by today’s announcement and remain among the lowest available to consumers.
More from Local Media & Communications AnalystGreg Sterling :
In an aggressive effort to build usage and adoption, eBay-owned Skype is making it’s SkypeOut product free to US and Canadian users through the end of the year.
This clearly puts pressure on competitors and traditional telcos and should give the company a nice bump in usage in the US where it lags companies such as Vonage and cable companies in terms of brand awareness.