We just announced that SkypeOut is now free within the US and Canada to all landlines and mobiles, until at least the end of 2006.
How does this work?
If you’re in the US or Canada, you can use SkypeOut to call any landline or mobile number in both the USA and Canada for free.
If you’re in the US or Canada and calling any other country, OR ifyou’re in any other country and calling landline or mobile numbers inthe US or Canada, the standard SkypeOut rates apply.
Of course, Skype-to-Skype calls continue to be globally free, so no changes there.
See also the campaign FAQ.
Is it really free? What are the strings attached?
Yes. It is really very, very free. There’s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing. You just download and installSkype and then you start calling. Both the caller and the number calledmust be in either the US or Canada. There are no strings attached.
The only condition is that we have said free SkypeOut within the USand Canada is guaranteed to last until the end of this year — that is,until December 31, 2006. We’re not quite sure yet what we will do afterthat. Maybe we extend the free period, maybe not. You’ll hear moreabout this towards the end of the year.
Until then, happy calling.
Note that if you haven’t bought any Skype Credit, your Skype clientmay still tell you something about needing to buy some before you canuse SkypeOut. Just disregard that and place your call. It will workfine :) We already had this for toll-free 800 numbers where you couldcall them for free without actually buying any credit so we know thisworks. And it works on all platforms where SkypeOut is available, whichat this time means Windows, Mac, Linux and Pocket PC.
This also works with call forwarding. If you have call forwarded toyour US or Canadian phone or cell number and someone calls you from theUS or Canada, it gets forwarded to your phone or cell and it costs younothing. If you get a call from another country, the forwarding costsyou the standard calling rate. Note that this is not applicable withSkypeIn — calls received with SkypeIn and then forwarded with SkypeOutcost you the standard rates.
As far as we know, this is the first time in history when unlimitedcalls to a standard telephone network are free without any form ofpayment or subscription. That’s kind of cool. (Update: ok, as thecomments here and on Digg say, there were a few others years ago. Oh well.)
This is also a great example of Skype being lean and mean. Wecontinue to innovate rapidly. From the inception of this “project” offree North American SkypeOut to you actually reading this and beingable to use it, the time period was really short. Many thanks to thewhole team involved in making this.