Skype offers free SkypeOut to North Americans

By Derek Sooman on May 16, 2006, 11:51 AM
It can't have escaped your notice that VoIP is getting big. One can quite easily forsee a time where it will completely replace traditional landline phone networks, and will be the mainstream method by which we communicate with audio. Skype is already a very established and important company in the VoIP space, and you can bet your last dollar that they want to keep it that way.

In order to win the VoIP price wars in the US, Skype plan to offer North American users free calls to any type of phone, which includes landlines and mobiles, so long as they are within the US and Canada, and only until the end of the year. Prior to this, users had to pay to make a Skype call from their PCs to traditional phones. Currently though, Skype has no plans to expand this deal to customers outside North America.

This will no doubt be the first of many incentives for Skype customers, since the company will have to fight hard to beat off its rivals in the VoIP space, which include some of the big boys like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

"Many businesses could have chosen to spend this money on traditional advertising campaigns but Skype's philosophy has always been to invest in its users first," said a Skype spokesperson. "We focus on our business rather than be distracted by other players in the market," she said. What's more, Skype is pleased to have more companies enter its space "because it endorses our strategy and helps to grow the market."

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