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Skype on Mobile Phones?

I don’t get this – it makes no sense.

Apparently, in the not too distant future, there should be a version of Skype available for Mobile phones (and may be on a variety of platforms).

My problem is this: How much is this going to cost? Yeah, sure the client is free, but the GPRS packets are likely to cost!

Lets work this out. Lets assume that for every 10Kb I send, it’s going to cost me 10p, and that the client sends roughly 10Kb per minute (Having never used Skype before, I’m totally unaware how many Kb it sends per minute, so I’m just coming up with a rough guess here). Therefore, it will cost me 10p per minute to use Skype.

Now, for my contract (which is quite expensive call-wise), I’m getting 200 minutes free every month to Landlines and other mobiles on my network, so whilst I’m in that bracket, it’s costing me an extra 10p per minute to use Skype to call home (assuming that someone is using a computer at home).

But to be fair, I would pay that price, no matter who or where in the world I was calling. So in actual fact, if I’m calling abroad, then it does work out a bit cheaper.

But, that’s not the full story. Now imagine that I am calling another telephone number using Skype (i.e. not to another computer). I’m then being charged 10p per minute, plus the cost of the Skype charges (of about 1p per minute), that’s 11p (for a landline call) – if that were in the UK, that would be free for me! Plus the rates go up if you are calling another network. And then you have the concern of your credit with Skype running out half way through a phone call.

And lets not forget that we are dealing with assumptions here. I’ve got a feeling the cost per 10Kb is much higher for myself (30p rings a bell), so instantly I’m being charged stupid money to call home.

Not for me I’m afraid. My advice – do the math first before you start to use it, it may cost you more in the long run.

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  1. Rich
    April 20th, 2005 at 12:15 | #1

    According to their help pages, “On average, Skype uses between 3-16 kilobytes/sec depending on…”

    So a 10 minute call would transmit roughly 6 MB of data. My 50MB of free 3G data would be used up in 8 and a half minutes of Skype calling. At Orange’s usual rates*, a 10 minute call would cost nearly £14, rather than £1 when your minutes have run out. That’s the same price as calling home FROM TURKEY.

    However, I just had a 15 minute conversation with a guy in Toronto today. Cost me nothing, quality was very good (apart from echo on his end). It’s brilliant with broadband… not so good on a mobile.

    * £2.35 per MB for the Mobile Office datacard on pay-per-use 3G data.

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