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Skype-ing around the world

by Austin Akalanze

One of the more attractive promises of VoIP is the possibility of a hefty cut in your cost of communication, and in some instances, a total elimination of cost using Skype. Skype is a program that allows you to make free calls over the internet to anyone else who also has Skype. Best of all, it's free and easy to download and use, and works with most computers, PC or Mac
 
Once Skype is installed on your computer, you can start voip calling and talking to friends and family all over the world for free. And in case you are wondering what they sound like, VoIP calls using Skype have excellent sound quality and are highly secure with end-to-end encryption.
 
There are no configurations necessary. No need to disable firewalls or configure routers and other networking devices. It is a simple plug and play routine.
 

 
Skype not only works on Windows, but works on other operating system platforms such as Mac OS X, Linux and PDAs using Pocket PC, "with a native look and feel for each platform." Also tallking, sending instant messages or even file transfers work, between different platforms on skype. But why don't we all have Skype?
 
If we lived in a perfect world, everyone would. And we would not have to pay for calls anymore, local or distant. But we live in an imperfect world where things happen for reasons beyond our control.
 
But not to worry though. Skype is made by real people for real people in the real world. Because Skype knows that not everyone has skype or uses VoIP, provisions have been made for skypers to be able to call their non skype cousins using Skypeout.
 
SkypeOut is an innovative way for the skpe voip users to talk to family, friends and business associates anywhere in the world, who have not yet joined the skype bandwagon, at a substancially reduced rate.
 
Implementing SkypeOut is as easy as hopping over to the skype website, loading up on skype credit with your credit card and simple. There are no contracts to sign, no complicated bills to figure out. Call rates are the same for SkypeOut calls to your neighbor across the street and calls to family and friends across the globe in Kualalumpor.
 
Not being able to call your non Skype friends is not all that is wrong with Skype. Your non skype friends could not call you either. That was true until the arrival of Skypein.
 
SkypeIn is billed to be a bridge between users of Skype and their non-Skype, non voip POTS (Plain Old Telephone Systems) friends and family or business associates.
 
Here is how it works. SkypeIn allows you to receive calls from your non skype friends and family, just as you would, if you were on a regular POTS. With SkypeIn, you can get your own, regular phone number. So, when your non Skype contacts call you, by dialing a regular number, you can still receive the call in Skype. This is true regardless of where you are.
 

 
For instance, if you have a Dallas-based SkypeIn number, but you're living somewhere in Moscow, your Dallas contacts can just dial your SkypeIn number, and your Skype in Moscow will ring as though you were in Dallas. And the good thing is that your friends are only paying whatever their phone company charges them for making a phone call to Dallas.
 
There is no restriction as to where your calls can come from. However, if your SkypeIn number is a United States number, and someone calls your SkypeIn from Australia for instance, they will have to pay for the international nature of the call.
 
Anothe neat thing about SkypeIn is that if you have friends in many places, you can get up to 10 SkypeIn numbers in different places and no one would really know where you are unless you tell them.
 
With SkypeIn you can make it possible for family, friends and business contacts who are not necessarily connected to the Internet or using VoIP to keep in touch with your, without breaking their bank book, but they have to be connected to their broadband wired connections. Well not anymore, at least in some places.
 
When two or more join together in a partnership, things can happen. One of such partner-ships is the marriage between Boingo, a giant in the wireless fidelity (WiFi), providing communication hotspots, with about 18,000 sites worldwide; and Skype.
 
Having successfully launched SkypeIn and SkypeOut, Skype is now poised to providing its subscribers the freedom they so much desire by going into this alliance with Boingo, to provide wireless services to its subscribers.
 
Skype Zones as this WiFi hotspots are now called, will offer discounted Wi-Fi access to Skype's millions of customers worldwide. And to be able to take advantage of Skype Zones, users will have to install the Skype Zones client software. This can be downloaded from the Skype Store.
 
Reacting to news of this new partner-ship, Mark Blowers, senior analyst at Butler Group has this to say, "We are going to see more of this. Skype is very innovative and it is logical that they would extend services beyond the desktop like this. "I think we will see others do this soon too. It is clearly a growing threat to mobile and fixed line carriers."
About the author:
Austin Akalanze is an avid watcher of VoIP and also likes to make money, while he sleeps.
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