Would you like free telephony with that?

October 7th, 2009

Today I made my first call with Skype To Go. I’ve no idea how long this has been around, but I was impressed: I made a long call to the States from my mobile, and it was flawless, and free.

Here’s how it works:

  • You apply for a Skype To Go number in the location of your choice. Mine is in London.
  • You call that number. It’s a speed-dial on my phone, and I have more free minutes than I ever use, so it doesn’t cost me anything.
  • You are prompted for the number you want to dial. You can use the Skype website to set up some favourites which can be dialled in a couple of keypresses.
  • The call is routed over the Skype network and charged to your Skype account. From the UK to the USA costs a penny a minute, which is 1% of what O2 would charge me for calling direct.
  • The favourites you set up on the website can include Skype accounts – and calling them is free. Since my friend Hap was sitting at his computer, I used that option, and saved even the 1% I would have paid.

The call quality was very good and there was no noticeable latency.

Now, since I have an iPhone, I could have used Skype directly on the phone. But that would have depended on a good data connection: much harder to find than a reliable voice channel.

Recommended if you call abroad regularly.

And another stocking-filler!

October 7th, 2009

Ah – here’s something for the run-up to Christmas…

The Kindle is now available in the UK (and quite a lot of other countries). You need to order it from the States, but apparently the 3G works here now too.