updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
Skype's unlimited world
Skype on Monday announced it will offer unlimited international calling to land lines in 34 countries for $10 a month under its Unlimited World plan. In a few countries, including US, Canada, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, the VoIP company's newest plan includes calling to cell phones as well. With the plan, subscribers will also be able to use their cell phones or traditional land lines to call a local number, which then forwards their call to one of the 34 countries and does not incur long distance charges.
The Unlimited World plan also includes voicemail and there is no contract required, though the Luxembourg-based company offers a discount if users sign up for a 3- or 12-month term. The plan also includes a small amount of Skype Credit, which will help to pay for calls to countries not part of the 34 included in the plan. Though just how much credit is unspecified, the per minute rates to most such countries cost cents.
Skype's fair usage policy does limit the unlimited plan, though most users aren't expected to exceed the 10,000 minutes (over 166 hours) of calling offered per month.
Update: Skype also launched an unlimited US/Canada plan for $2.95 per month. The plan includes an unlimited number of calls to landlines and cell phones in the U.S. and Canada (however, the fair use policy limits users to 10,000 calling minutes per month) as well as a voicemail account.