Skype and Mobile Phones

I had the occasion to have an early morning conference call with a prospect in Europe. Rather than run up a hefty phone bill on my cell phone I decided to give Skype a try.

Now, I've used Skype on and off for some time, and especially liked using it a year ago when I visited India and was able to call my wife using Skype for free. I've used it periodically since but generally have more than enough minutes to handle regular calling with my cell phone.

But international calling is different so I proceeded to purchase Skype Credit and placed the call at 5 AM this morning and everything worked splendidly. And all it cost was 1.39 Euros for a 55 minute call! Not a bad deal.

It is such a good deal, and they appear to offer unlimited calling for the US/Canada for less than $30/year and very reasonable international rates, I might consider using it more regularly. What would help though is not having to use a computer to do the calling, and there are certainly phones available that plug in to your router and offer a "non-computer" experience, but you can't transfer your home number to Skype service and it doesn't work for emergency calling, so I'm not sure I want to take the plunge and do a full switch.

What would be awesome though is if there was a phone that was the combination of a Skype phone (with WiFi support) and Cell phone. When in an office or at home where WiFi access was available it would operate like a Skype phone but otherwise when out and about, like a normal cell phone. Of course, this is probably highly unlikely to happen soon in part because it isn't in the wireless providers interest to (it would mean the phones would not be used on their networks all the time). If the providers are already disabling features in phones as Art Wittman and Dave Molta from Network Computing write, what incentive would there be to make a combination Cell/Skype phone?

Now, hopefully someone will comment on this blog and point me to such a device, and if so, great, I'd love to have one. But I don't think I'll hold my breath.

Comments:

I use Vonage - since for $25 a month all calls to the US & UK are free, and it did allow me to transfer my old home number. Emergency services also work - but you have to complete a form so they know your address.

Have you looked at this from i2

It might give you what you need - voip from your cell phone by way of a bridge

Posted by Paul Mayle on May 17, 2007 at 07:49 AM PDT #

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