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Is Skype a viable landline alternative for us?
September 9, 2008 4:55 AM   Subscribe

What's the best Skype package for managing contact with our international friends and family group?

I've been examining options for keeping in touch with the families and friends of both my wife and myself. We moved into our place a year ago and never got around to getting a landline, because we both have mobiles with good packages, and our internet is provided through building-wide, minimal cost wifi.

However, it's kind of tough to keep on top of costs of calls with our mobiles, and we've been consistently going over international call allowances and getting smacked with bills £30 - £50 over our call limits. Ideally, I want to remove all the various bolt ons, international allowances and so on we have on our mobile contracts and just pay for calls, texts and data.

So, I've been looking at Skype as a possibility. I have family and friends in Scotland, some who can use Skype, some on landlines. My wife has family and friends across the US, again some using landlines, some able to use Skype.

From my research, it looks like the Unlimited World subscription would give us all the benefits of having a landline on top of the obvious benefits of Skype-to-Skype video calling, which we have already. Has anyone used this package from the UK? Can you call landlines in the UK with it? Is it a good landline alternative? I'm thinking it'd be cheaper than pretty much any landline deal (about £6 a month, which I can pay through Paypal).

Any experiences or perspectives?
posted by Happy Dave to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
My partner uses Unlimited World, coupled with a SkypeIn number to make working for a London company while living in Barcelona as painless as possible. All her calls to the UK and clients in the US are covered by the one-off fee. Also, when she sets Skype to redirect to our flat phone - the redirection call cost is covered too.

It doesn't cover calls to mobiles, premium-rate numbers, etc., but landlines are fine. Definitely saves her a bundle on calls, and with Skype-In and redirection, people in the UK can call her for a local or national call cost with no extra cost to her.
posted by benzo8 at 5:59 AM on September 9, 2008


I use skype quite a lot between the UK & Japan. My only observation would be that sound quality is definitely nowhere near as good as a normal landline and can get quite tiring to use sometimes.
posted by mairuzu at 8:00 AM on September 9, 2008


Huh, really? Skype-to-skype always beat landline quality hands-down for us when I lived on the other side of the Atlantic from my wife. I guess it must be an artifact of digital skype connecting to analogue landlines.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:28 AM on September 9, 2008


I second the quality issue. Maybe the peak quality is better than a land line, but it doesn't take much for digial compression artifacts to really take over the sound. Obviously it depends a lot on the connection, but I think the room for error is a lot less than with analog.
posted by cotterpin at 12:02 AM on September 11, 2008


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