Skype Announces Unlimited Long-Distance Calls to 34 Countries

Written By Drupad Sil | April 21, 2008 | 2 Comments

Skype

A big announcement today by VoIP services provider Skype. The eBay-owned company unveiled unlimited calling to 34 countries including Australia, China, Germany, Japan, and the UK, essentially covering a third of the world’s population. Skype’s version of “unlimited” is 5 hours a day every month, which for most people is effectively unlimited.

Skype is one of eBay’s biggest divisions and caused the online auction company to take a $1.4 billion writedown last year when it purchased Skype for $4.3 billion. The issue was an inability to monetize largely free Internet calling. However, with 309 million users, there’s plenty to be optimistic about. Mark Evans has more to say:

“Consider Skype’s first-quarter results: another 33 million users came on board…year-over-year revenue climbed 61% to $126 million and Skype-to-Skype minutes rose 30% to 14.2 billion. So, what you’ve got is a high-growth business that will likely have sales of $500-million in 2008.”

With those growth prospects and owner eBay looking to recoup some of last year’s losses, there’s growing speculation that a Skype spin-off or telecom acquisition could be in the works. From iLocus:

“In the meantime, which direction should Skype pursue and what should be the eBay criteria in deciding the future of this business unit? I think the criterion should be future growth of Skype itself…So I think the first choice should be to spin off Skype as an independent company rather than selling the asset at a substantial loss to some other company. If, however, selling Skype to another company is the only choice, I think a telco acquisition could make sense for Skype…Through Skype acquisition, not only does a telco get the most popular telephony interface on the Internet, it also inherits a large pool of developer partners that a telco could only dream of.”

We’ll keep a close eye on Skype and its tremendous growth. This could be the year that it all pays off.

2 Responses to “Skype Announces Unlimited Long-Distance Calls to 34 Countries”

  1. [...] TECH.BLORGE.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

  2. The introduction of these new call plans from Skype should prove beneficial for the internet telephony / VoIP sector generally. Anything that helps to bring internet telephone calling further into the mainstream is very welcome.

    May we mention that there are other options in the market that allow you to make unlimited calls for a flat rate such as Vonage. There are some significant differences between the services that Vonage and Skype provide that should be taken into consideration by anyone looking to make internet calls.

    Firstly, call quality is a major advantage of using Vonage, our call quality is comparable with a regular landline service. Secondly, with Skype you have traditionally needed 1) your PC to be switched on to be able to make and receive calls, with Vonage you have never been reliant on your PC being switched on and 2) a headset or USB phone to be able to make internet phone calls, with Vonage you just plug in your existing home phone. Using your existing touch tone phone gives users the freedom to make unlimited calls in the way you want while you walk around your home or office.

    You can find out more about Vonage at http://www.vonage.co.uk.

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