Over at Ars Technica, Ken Fisher writes, "Skype unveils yearly long distance package. Skype's promotional free long distance deal was time-limited from the start. What happens when the two-double-o-seven arrives?"
"Now Skype hopes to turn those users into paying customers, as the
company has now announced its intention to sell long distance packages for a yearly rate.
When the free long distance hangs up on Near Year's Day, Skype will
begin a month-long promotion: $14.95 for one year of long distance. The
promotion will also include 100 minutes of SkypeOut for International
calls and over $50 worth of coupons for purchasing Skype-certified
hardware products. After January 31, the yearly fee will increase to
Fifteen bucks a year is a deal for long distance, even if it has to route through a computer. Interesting market offer.
I used Skype for 3-way interstate conferencing on a project this year, and we probably racked up 100 hours of voice time this way. At five cents a minute that still adds up to a few dollars. For solo businesses, this could be the way to go. For slightly larger SOHOs, TrixBox might be a bit more scaleable, with a bit more investment up front.