The countries include most of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Calls to U.S. landlines and cell phones are included, as are calls to cell phones in Canada, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Calls to cell phones in other countries aren’t included.
Skype calls are made from computers equipped with a microphone and speakers or a headset. Subscribers will also have the option to call a local number from their phones and be connected to international numbers, paying only local access charges or cell-phone airtime. Vonage and cable companies offer similar plans but at higher prices.
Skype, which is owned by eBay, also offers free computer-to-computer calls. In the first-quarter of this year the subscribers logged 1.7 billion minutes of paid calls. The free service saw 14.2 billion minutes used.