You heard me right… Skype now lets you make free calls to all landline and mobile phone in the United States and Canada, at least till the promotional campaign ends 31st December 2006. I bet this is to compete with AOL’s recent plan of free incoming calls for AIM users.
While this is great news for many, it sucks a little for me:
1) I still have Vonage for $14 per month.
2) I just paid US$12 for SkypeOut minutes.
3) I’m tempted to pre-order Netgear’s Skype Wifi phone (see left).
Now here’s a cool add-on hack…
Apparently this also works with call forwarding. If you have call forwarded to your U.S. or Canadian phone or cell number and someone calls you from the US or Canada, it gets forwarded to your phone or cell and it costs you nothing. Simply go to Skype’s preference, look for call forwarding and setup Skype to forward incoming calls to your cell phone number. I’d just leave Skype running on my Mac and have friends online call me when I’m out and about!
One thing though…
According to Skype’s blog, if you’re in any other country and calling landline or mobile numbers in the U.S. or Canada, the standard SkypeOut rates apply. I wonder if Skype actually takes the trouble to figure out if you’re calling from overseas (via IP address), so I’d love it if someone were to try calling a number here and try it out. If not, perhaps going through a local proxy might do the trick. This would rock for people overseas calling the U.S. for free!