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The W - Internet & Computers - Can someone answer a dumb Skype question for me?
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Alessandro
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 29 days
Last activity: 6 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
Okay, my brother is taking an impromptu two-week business trip to England, and he's not gonna be able to use his Motorola Droid X to keep in touch ... We contacted Verizon, and they offer the option of renting a "global" phone with a temporary plan that charges 1.99 per minute for calls.

However, we're doing a little research and come across Skype's mobile app for Android (skype.com) ... Now, I've never used it, but he has an account for work, and I could just as easily download the app to my phone and set up an account.

Now, according to Verizon's site (verizonwireless.com), under "International Skype-to-Skype call" it says that usage is "Unlimited" and long distance charges are "Not Applicable" ... So, that means that (as long as he has access to wi-fi over there) we can call each other over Skype and it'll be free, right?






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TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 20 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.61
Calling from one Skype account to another is always free.

Obviously if you are using a data plan on your phone that may not be free, but that has nothing to do with Skype. If you both are on Wifi and both logged into a Skype account, there will be no charges.
Alessandro
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 29 days
Last activity: 6 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
Phew, that's good to hear ... but it just seems so weird to me that Verizon would advertise a feature that undercuts their business model. I mean, why should I give them money for a "global data plan" when we can both just download an app (advertised right there on their website) and talk for free?



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TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 20 days
Last activity: 7 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.61
Well I don't know anything about Verizon, but from what you say it sounds like what they're describing has nothing to do with Skype. Without a phone plan, be it calling and/or data, your brother will have to be in a place where he has access to Wifi in order to use Skype or anything else that involves the Internet. The international plans would mean he can call you anywhere he gets a signal. So it is a question of convenience and access to Wifi.
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 52 min.
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.34

My wife travels a fair amount, and we've found Skype to be great in places where there's a decent broadband infrastructure, and not so great in places where the internet isn't quite so good. We haven't tried it over the cell phone itself (aside from IM) - but I would actually argue that Skype's quality has not improved all that much (if at all) in the last few years.

She usually ends up getting a cheap GO-PHONE with some prepaid minutes because that's the most reliable thing - and she gets a local number to boot.
TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 20 days
Last activity: 7 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.61
    Originally posted by Leroy

    My wife travels a fair amount, and we've found Skype to be great in places where there's a decent broadband infrastructure, and not so great in places where the internet isn't quite so good. We haven't tried it over the cell phone itself (aside from IM) - but I would actually argue that Skype's quality has not improved all that much (if at all) in the last few years.


I have stopped using Skype except in cases where that's the only program used by a person I want to talk to. The quality sucks, the picture lags, audio just goes away for stretches of time. I used to blame it on my Internet connection, but now I'm living somewhere with really high-speed Internet and rarely have any sort of problems except with Skype. I usually use a program called Oovoo instead. It has some elements that Skype does better, but for connection issues Oovoo is way better.


    She usually ends up getting a cheap GO-PHONE with some prepaid minutes because that's the most reliable thing - and she gets a local number to boot.


But how much does she pay for international minutes?
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 52 min.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.34
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan


    But how much does she pay for international minutes?


I want to say it's $20 for 30 minutes to the U.S. (if that's not correct, I'm not far off), but I'm not 100% certain.

Full disclosure, we're largely talking Mexico to U.S. here, so it's not like some far off distant land. I just know that enabling international service on our existing Verizon plan is WAY WAY WAY more expensive than limping along with a pre-paid cell phone and Skype.

I *believe* you can get certain pre-paid plans that will handle international calling, but I'm willing to bet that it all depends on the country you are visiting.


    I have stopped using Skype except in cases where that's the only program used by a person I want to talk to. The quality sucks, the picture lags, audio just goes away for stretches of time.


The new rumor is that MS wants to insert in-call advertisements.

Skype calls to feature ads big enough to interrupt any conversation (arstechnica.com)

Frankly, I think the service is not long for this world...

(edited by Leroy on 20.7.12 1437)
Alessandro
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 29 days
Last activity: 6 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
Ah, now I see ... The Skype mobile app will only work on the 3G network, rendering the wi-fi scenario moot.

I guess we could still use Skype via PC, but having something on the phone would still be preferable ...



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 13 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.57
You could try something like Ventriloid.

If you have access to a Ventrilo server somewhere (many gamers do, you may ask your brother) you could both log in to it and do voice chat. It's not as easy as talking on Skype, but it would be free and would work on wireless.

I have a lot of friends that I only ever talk to on Vent, and have never talked with on the phone in real life.




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Alessandro
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 29 days
Last activity: 6 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
Okay, we've done a little more research (geekwire.com) and I think we've narrowed our selections down to:

TiKL Touch Talk Walkie Talkie
KakaoTalk
Viber

Anyone have any experience with these apps that they'd like to share?

EDIT (7/24): Just to add a bit of closure to this thread, we decided to download both TiKL and Viber ... The latter of which has suprisingly good reception (I could hear my brother in England more clearly than when I talk to him over regular cell phone means).

(edited by Alessandro on 24.7.12 1929)


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