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!?