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Call International at Re. 1, thanks to Belkin Skype VOIP phone

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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.

belkin_skype_phone_india

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?

  1. Ashana says

    Could u pls let me know that how could i subscribe this facility as we have to make number of international calls

  2. kunal says

    I still dont get how this is different from using your skype credit on a wifi enabled phone; because skype is going to work just as efficiently on both the phones; be it this particular Belkin skype phone or just any wifi enabled phone, given the same wifi network.

  3. Prashanth says

    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.

    The above is not true. TRAI regulations deem only VOIP calls within India to be illegal. VOIP calls to other countries is completely legal.

  4. Sandeep Swaminathan says

    This is another revolution phone let me tell you. Though we have Skype online voice services, a mobile phone for such cheaper cost is what Indian users always love. With their sons & daughters around the world, so many parents will actually love using it rather than using a lap.

    But wait as @anand pointed out. You havent spoken much about its Security! When someone hears the word Wi-Fi, the next thing goes in their mind is security issues. Can you please elaborate on it?

    And I’m betting BSNL/MTNL will envy the service :p

  5. ramarao m s says

    hi
    International calls at Re 1/ [yes one only]!
    Your ref to it is welcome .But more interesting is your comment
    “whether BSNL / MTNL will have anything to say about them :). We will have to wait and watch.”
    BSNL now fresh from a two day strike, must have a surprise at this news!
    BSNL-MTNL have done a good job so far,charging heavily only to cut tariffs when competition stifled them. But now on,they have to take on the electronic exponential developments. Surely they will manage slow and wake up
    at least by the time the hand mobile heralds “talk to world at Re1” !!!!

  6. jayneel says

    I have skype account in USA with international calling enabled from my US account. I use skype from India to make unlimited calls anywhere in world for as little as 2.35$ a month. Can it get cheaper than this??

  7. Shubham says

    I think similar functionality existed before. Plus you cannot call everywhere at Rs 1/ min (probably mostly US), if you call UK Mobiles then it is damn expensive!

  8. diduknow says

    Why is this interesting. The ability to make skype calls always existed. You could argue that the form factor has changed and it now fits into your pocket rather than your lap.

    I see 2 major shortcomings..

    (1) However the need to be tethered to a wifi connection means that there are only a few places where you can make the calls from. While wifi is more prevalent than it used to be, I am amazed by the number of different security configurations across networks. My symbian phone Nokia E63 hardly recognizes the most elementary security configuration for instance. If this phone really needs to click then it needs to support almost all the wifi security configuration to justify the need to pull a second handset with you

    (2) The real advantage will come when the phone can be used as a regular phone as well. I understand there is a long way to go before this happens. As far as my memory goes only one phone operator in the world “3” offers it as part of their standard plan

    cheers
    anand

  9. Nikhil Kumar Verma says

    So how does this differ from using Skype Credit in the Skype Application on a WiFi capable phone (Nokia E/N series or the iPhone / iPod Touch)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Nikhil,
      Very Valid Question.
      But this is a phone specific to skype only. I have tried calling on skype thru my wifi enabled phone and it isnt that easy nor the voice clarity is there.
      Hwoever, for this phone you dont have to do anything. Just connect to wifi and start punching numbers.

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