It quite interesting how soon things are changing. Just 5 years back, when anyone used to call US /UK from India, it used to cost a bomb ! Close to 20 rupees per minute (or even higher), over last few years ISD costs have come down and now you can call America for as low as 5-6 rupees a minute.
But now Indian users can actually make ISD calls for as low as ONE RUPEE ! Thanks to Google Skype Phones introduced by Belkin.
As you may have understood by now, these phones do not work on normal Telecom Networks. The calls from these phones are done via Internet (or VOIP).
These are actually Wi-Fi phones that work on Internet connection (whether wireless or wireline). If the phone is in the vicinity of a wireless Network, it will connect automatically to your Skype account via Internet.
Once the Skype phone is logged in, you can make calls to a Skype number or a mobile number of a person overseas or in India. Calls rates are as cheap as Rs 1 per minute via Skype to other mobile phones overseas.
The Belkin Google Skype phone has most features that your normal phone has:
- Capacity to store upto 500 Skype and Skype out contacts
- Call hold/release, call pickup/park, muting, redial and call-timer display
- Exceptional clarity offered by the special TFT screen
- Provide high level of voice clarity
- WEP and WPA-PSK ensuring superior security
- Software update wirelessly
So subscribers having Skype-out facility can make International phone calls for as low as One rupee.
The phones come in two flavours – Wireline and Wireless – priced at Rs 7284/- and the Rs 9712/- respectively.
The company is also bundling these phones with 30 Skype Out minutes and one month of free voice mail to a first few users all the phone buyers.
Although this is first time that phones like these have been launched in India, they have been around in US / UK and many other countries for a few years now.
Infact, many heavy International Callers in Indian have been using it (although illegally). They procure such phones from abroad and use it here in India. Companies like Vonage offer unlimited International calling for $20 a month.
We will have to see how popular these Belkin Skype phones get and whether BSNL / MTNL will have anything to say about them :). We will have to wait and watch.
What are your views?