The Bottom Line
- Free calls through your cell phone to other Skype users
- Cheap local and international rates for paid calls to landline and mobile networks
- Easy to download, install and use
- Works only on WiFi and 3G phones
- With 3G (for real mobility), an unlimited data plan is required
- Call quality can be an issue
- Easily downloaded and installed on mobile phone.
- Available only for Windows Mobile and Smartphone platforms.
- 12 MB required on the phone's memory for the application.
- Unlimited 3G data plan required for good quality.
Guide Review - Skype For Mobile Phones
The setting up is simple: simply download the application from Skype's website (it can be downloaded directly from the mobile phone) and install it. Register for an account if you don't already have one, and you can already make free calls to other Skype users using their PC or mobile-based softphones. To call people on landline phones or mobile phones, cheap rates apply. Check their site for the current rates.
The main drawback is that the service works only with WiFi and 3G wireless technology, which means that you need to have high-end devices to use it. The number of phones and devices on which it works does not go beyond 50.
Then comes the problem that stains most mobile VoIP providers: the requirement for a data plan. WiFi is rather localized; so for real mobility, 3G is good. But the recommended unlimited 3G data plan required for good quality with this service has a non-negligible cost. So unless you make a lot of calls, you will not really save money using this service, since the 'overhead' costs are somewhat heavy: a 3G/WiFi phone plus the monthly data plan.
While I write this, Skype's mobile page implicitly indicates that the mobile application to be installed exists only for Windows Mobile and Smartphone platforms. This excludes users of other platforms like Symbian.
This new move from Skype will certainly cause existing mobile operators to lose money. As a result, some, like O2, T-Mobile and Orange, retaliate in preventing their users from using their cell phones with this service. Be sure to check that as well before jumping on board.