Saturday, February 25, 2006

Skype Out

For any of you that haven’t come around to using your PC as a telephone, with Voice over IP (VoIP) with Skype or any similar popular service, it might be time to give it a try.

This morning, as I was reading the papers, my PC “Rang” and it was a business contact from Bahrain. Saturday is a working day there. He had a webcam attached to his PC, which reminded me to turn my own on too, so we had a video conference call, which cost.. well absolutely nothing, as we are both Skype users connected over the internet with VoIP.

When I was in the Middle-east two weeks ago, I took a headset with me and used Skype to make most of my calls to work and home from the hotel lobby, with its wireless network connection. Historically, a visit to the area means that I arrive home to find a huge Vodafone bill and I reckon that simply using VoIP saves me at least £100 on each trip, with my Skype calls being either free, or tiny small if I’m calling out from the PC to a landline or a mobile phone.

The next thing I’m looking for is a Skype handset for the house. I hear that both Tesco and Argos are now doing them. This means of course that the family can use the home wireless network to make free calls over VoIP and I rather wonder what my BT standing line rental charges mean anymore in contrast. Daylight robbery may be another word for it.

So if you want the convenience of free video calls to friends and family in future perhaps it’s time to join the Skype generation? Ultimately, all telephony will go this way by 2010 as BT upgrades its network but by then, companies like Skype will have stolen the ham from between BTs sandwich I suspect!?


Chris said...

Simon...I read not so long ago that a company in America have developed software that telephone companies are starting to use which can isolate VOIP packages.

This software can destinguish between normal internet packages and VOIP and they are going to use it to stop VOIP being used on their phone service.

Are you aware of this ?

DrMoores said...

Not one I've seen but I'll keep an eye on it. Let me know if you find the source. thanks!

Chris said...

I could not find the article about telephone companies using this software ...but I have found an article about service providers using it .

I have e mailed you a link.

DrMoores said...

Sorry but could you try again please. I saw your mail in my inbox but when I attempted to open it the system deleted it and I don't know why.. there's absolutely no trace of it!

Chris said...

I have re sent my original e-mail

Andy Pandy said...

I have never been a massive fan of Skype. For such a small program it feels 'bloaty' however most other users I know are more than happy with it. I have been forced to install it simply because most contacts I have are now using Skype.

I was rather concerned when I first heard the rumour about ISPs blocking or (even more disturbing) degrading VOIP packets. I have to admit that I'm not that concerened now as I'm sure companies like Skype will have contingenency plans. I'm also quite sure that there would be abundance of coders who would be willing to find a cheeky sollution around the inconvenience.