Extra Fox – A blog by Christopher Taylor

Using Skype as phone replacement in Mexico

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on November 13, 2005

Now that I have decided to go to Mexico, I am starting to think about how I will stay connected while I’m there. I want to take advantage of some of the leading edge services and technologies with the eye on keeping things cheap yet convenient.

One of the first things that I need to work out is phone connectivity. Some of the options are plain old cellphones and landlines, but IP based telephony options such as Vonage and Skype will also need to be considered.

Skype has a number of nice features in it’s favor: free computer to computer calling, pocket PC support, cheap outgoing calls and optional incoming phone numbers (up to 10 worldwide)

Computer to computer calls: This is the first service that Skype offers. I’m not completely sure what their business model is… They don’t make any money off of this service, so there must be a catch. Either there is some ad revenue involved (I haven’t tried the service yet) or they are counting on the free service as a lure to get people onto their network and make money on the value added services. Of course, offering free computer to computer calling costs them very little.

Pocket PC support: They have a Pocket PC client. That might work out really well if it can also be installed on Windows Mobile 2005. I will probably be buying the new Cingular 2125 next week and it has WiFi support. Being able to use Skype to send and receive calls from my cellphone while I am connected to WiFi would be a sweet way to save money. That is yet to be determined, but a nice possibility

Incoming and outgoing calls: Skype also supports incoming and outgoing calls and they take care of the Internet to phone network interface. They do charge for this service, however, as you might expect. The outgoing calls cost around $0.023 per minute which is pretty reasonable. The incoming service costs € 10 for three months. Not too bad… Certainly cheaper than Vonage.

Other possibilities: I did notice the other day that there are some handsets coming out that support Skype directly, over WiFi [Gizmodo]. This would truly be the way to use Skype for me. I hope it comes out before I go to Mexico.

There are still some unanswered questions, so expect to see more information here in the next weeks.

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