Skype Guts Telecom (Again)

Skype has announced free Skypeout calls within North America to Canadian and U.S. landlines and cell phones. Remarkable.

That great sucking sound you heard was telecom margins going south faster than ever.

[Update] Om uses Malik-ian logic to opine that Skypeout isn’t really free: It’s just free until the end of the year. Okay, my friend, but let’s just say I can live with that. What I’m having more of an issue with is the discovery that my USB headset is newly kaput. Horrible timing.

[via Mike]


  1. It seems to me that with this, the remaining killer feature for Skype is to make calls fully private: not keep any call logs, and encrypt the calls themselves. Their claimed encryption is apparently quite suspect, and they explicitly DO keep call records and make them available to many parties.
    I realize that 90% of US phone users don’t care about this. But Skype appeals to techno-savvy early adopters, who are likely to be much more sensitive than average to security/privacy issues. With Sprint PCS, Vonage, and others, there is no way to avoid call logs; technically it would be easy for Skype to do so.
    From their terms of service:
    As stated in the Privacy Policy, in order to provide You with VoIP Services or other services You have requested, Skype may sometimes, if necessary, share Your personal and traffic data with carriers, distributors, partnering service providers and/or agents. Further, as a member of a Skype Group, Your personal and traffic data may be available to the Skype Group Administrator. Further, as stated in the Privacy Policy, Skype and/or its local partners may need to provide such data to designated competent authorities upon request, or may need to enter into further activities due to local regulations, for example with regard to the interception of communications, if requested by such authorities. ……..If You object to Your information being transferred or used in this way please do not use our services.

  2. Frustrated User says:

    I have tried to use the free Skypeout service for free calls within Canada and the US and it doesn’t seem to be working

  3. I just started using SkypeOut today because of the announcement. Working well for me – the big problem for getting Skype to work tends to be corporate firewalls.
    My first SkypeOut calls were to friends that have Vonage or corporate VOIP systems – mainly the revenge factor of calling them on a crappy VOIP line like they were doing to me…

  4. Frustrated User says:

    no corporate firewalls here, I am on my home system with highspeed connection, every time I try to use it tells me I need to buy Sype credits

  5. Frustrated User,
    Make sure that you grab the latest v2.0 Skype upgrade. I just had the same problem you described, but now it works great.
    Some versions are more v2.0 than others…

  6. Frustrated User says:

    I downloaded latest v2.5 this morning, I am having the same problem, I believe what is happening is that you need to have credit established with SKype, so therefore you have to dish out 10 Euros to get credit, then when you make calls within North America they will not charge you, if this is the case then the service is not really free as far as I am concerned they are still asking me to dish out money to use the service for which I will not be charged