Jaanus, over at the Skype blog gives some further explanation of Skype's new pricing structure. You may have seen this before, but there has apparently been a lot of rumor and opinion circulating as to what it all means. Here's a recap from Jaanus:
- As of January 18, a connection fee of 0.039 € or equivalent applies to SkypeOut calls after the fifth second, with the exception in the next two bullets.
- The connection fee does not apply if you are on the Skype Unlimited plan in the US or Canada, or Talk for Britain plan in the UK.
- The connection fee doesn’t apply to toll-free calls. You can do toll-free calls without having any Skype Credit or paying anything.
- The following regions were added to our Global Rate of 0.017 € per minute: Czech Republic, Guam, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Puerto Rico and both Alaska and Hawaii in the United States.
- We are working on our new Skype Pro offering that, among other things, will have domestic SkypeOut calling in a number of countries with a connection fee but no per-minute charges. You can sign up to receive more info by e-mail, and it will of course be here on the blog. No date yet, but I think it’s safe to say we will speak more about Skype Pro in weeks, rather than months.
- Nothing changed in the structure of our other prices (Voicemail, SkypeIn, or free Skype-to-Skype).
If I'm reading this correctly, I'll now have to pay $.74 per minute to call Kosovo mobile phone (.039+.0354=.0744). That's significantly higher than what I was paying a year ago to SkypeOut a colleague's mobile phone.
If I'm not mistaken that's now significantly higher than a run-of-the-mill long-distance card from a retail warehouse store (Sams, Costco, etc.) If memory serves, and I can't find the data on the Sams Club site, I used to pay around $.50 / minute from the US to a Kosovo mobile (which are routed through Morocco for technical reasons.)
If you've been using Skype for US-to-foreign calls you may want to check your rates. Rates to the countries mentioned above are now apparently cheaper, but prices to the off-the-beaten-track places look like they're going up.