What is skype? I know it's long distance on internet, but what's the benefit?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by LRUmansky, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. LRUmansky macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    I know you can use skype to make cheap long distance calls over the net. But we already get free long distance on the cel phone, at least domestic. Is the benefit of skype on a cel phone b/c you can make cheap international calls?

    What are the other benefits of it?
  2. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
  3. citrate macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
  4. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    Totally unlimited calling to any other person who's also running Skype, no matter what type of device they're using, anywhere in the world, with no fees whatsoever (beyond whatever fees your ISP or WiFi hotspot provider charges you to connect to the Internet).
  5. Bozley0621 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    Everyone I know is associated with the military in one way or the other and many use it to video chat their families when they are deployed overseas.

    Others use it conjugal visits when they are away from their signifigant others.;)
  6. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    You can call people in Canada, or on another network in the US for free. Making AND receiving skype calls is free.
  7. LRUmansky thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    When you all say totally free, that means no airtime?

    Example: I'll use up none of my 450 airtime minutes if I call someone using Skype during the day? So, if I have 450 minutes airtime per month on my plan, and make calls only using skype for the month, then I'll have 450 left at the end of the month?
  8. sharp65 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2007
    If you do skype to skype it has nothing to do with your plan at all.
  9. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    To be clear, Skype has 3 different modes of operation:

    Any Skype user can always make an unlimited number and duration of calls to any other Skype user anywhere in the world. This does not affect your cellular airtime, and there is no other fee.

    You can use your Skype account to call any public telephone number in the world for low, low rates. The person receiving SkypeOut calls will pay their own incoming call rate, whatever that may be. This also does not affect your cellular airtime at all. Skype will require you to prepay into a separate account (not associated with Apple, AT&T, or any other cellular carrier) to cover the cost of these calls.

    You can use your Skype account to receive calls from any public telephone. This also does not affect your cellular airtime at all. You do not pay any per-minute fee for the incoming calls. However, you do pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee to Skype to maintain this incoming number, which is separate from your iPhone's regular phone number. The person calling you will pay their normal rate, whatever it may be, to call the area code in which your SkypeIn number is registered. You cannot register your SkypeIn number to be located within some countries.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Calling inside the US to inside the US, it doesn't help much. But if you want to call someone in another country, it's much cheaper. It routes the call through the Internet instead of the telephone.
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think the most exciting thing about Skype coming to more and more phones with WiFi, and there being more and more phones with WiFi to begin with, is that it starts to make a really compelling addition for people who make international calls a lot, and who may not even have a landline anymore. In the past, Skype was still a little cumbersome for this because you'd either have to buy some kind of dedicated VOIP handset hardware or talk through a computer. But now, aside from the fact that you launch an app, it's just like any other time you make a call on your cell phone.

    I hope that ease of use really forces the cell service providers to start offering more reasonable international rates -- delivering international telephony has been a lot cheaper, particularly than it costs with fixed landline plans or cellular plans in the US, for a long time now.
  12. aok1975 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    Free. Where. How did you get a cellphone plan thats free?
  13. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Of course if you're not using WiFi, you'll need a monthly cell data plan.

    Skype is great for both international and video calls, or a combo.


    Note that *someone* (each carrier) has to help pay for all the international underwater internet lines that these "free" calls to go over.

    It's just like the bogus idea that WiFi is free. No, someone somewhere is paying for the backhaul.
  14. bradenwh macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2008
    Wifi is free to those who do not have to pay for the backhaul. Just because someone, somewhere has to pay for it, doesn't meant it's not free for some people.
  15. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    If you don't know Skype by now, you don't need it.
  16. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    so whats the deal with the Skype iPhone app and push notifications? im thinking that you could recieve a ringing notification + message to say that someone is trying to call you.
  17. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Yup. It costs just pennies per minute to call back home to the States from Tokyo. And now with the Skype app on my 3.0b2 iPhone, I can even call over the 3G network - no wifi necessary! Killer. :D
  18. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    I was thinking that same thing.
  19. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
  20. LRUmansky thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    Thanks everyone. Great replies.
    I downloaded Skype.
    It will be useful for when my cel phone is out of minutes, and I need to call long distance. I can use the iphone to call long distance then (domestic for like 2 cents a minute).

    For upcoming iPhone 3.0 OS, you can use Skype on the 3G network?

    So, that will not count against your minutes since you're actually using the internet and not the actual celular system, right?
  21. Aaleck macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Michigan, USA
    Suppose it will only help people who talk a lot... since I'm already paying the service plan, and don't really talk a bunch, wouldn't be anything huge for me... plus I don't know anyone with skype o_O
  22. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    If you're paying the minimum, yeah, there's nothing else for you to do.

    But I was paying AT&T's middle-tier plan.

    I've started using Skype on my iPhone for outgoing calls at home and now I'll be able to downgrade myself to the cheaper AT&T plan. (I made my Skype caller ID into my cell phone number so I won't be getting any incoming Skype calls. Everyone just thinks I'm using my AT&T number when they look at caller ID, so they call that number back.)

    So I'm paying Skype $3 a month but I'll be saving a lot more than that off my AT&T bill.
  23. joekun macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    This works in the current beta version, but you can make book on the fact that apple will "fix" this before the final version, if not for the next beta.

    As for skype international pricing being "cheap", be sure to check the rates before calling too much. If you call a cell phone down under you're looking at 23 cents/minute. Landline rates are great to most places though.
  24. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    As has been said before, Skype to Skype calls are free - can't get cheaper than that! :D
  25. joekun macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    Yeah, but I don't know anyone else who uses skype. Even if I did it would take planning because most people don't sit at their computer with skype on or keep the app open on their iphone 24/7. If they could just solve that issue we wouldn't even need skype out.

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