Rather annoyingly travel to the US, as I’ve just done, and it’s very tough for non T-mobile users to get anything like a decent price for making or receiving calls on the mobile cheaply (I’m in the middle of a full update of the mobile roaming article, which will detail all this). Thus Skype is a saviour.
For those who don’t know, Skype is one of the internet based calling systems, where using a headset plugged into a computer you can dial a normal phone (for full info read ‘Completely Free Calls Via The Internet‘ article). Now for dialling from the UK there are cheaper methods (see UKs Cheapest Home Phones article), but in a hotel overseas, where it’s going to cost £1/min to make a call from the mobile and £3/min from the hotel phone – suddenly Skype comes into its own.
To connect my laptop to the hotel’s wireless cost $10 a day (roughly £6), after that it was $0.02 (about 1.2p) per minute to call the UK. Thus after 6 minutes Skype’s cheaper, and as we saved up our calls in batches, and I was connecting anyway, the cost was virtually negligible in comparison. Horrah for the web!