Coming Soon: A Price Hike at Skype



A price hike is coming for some, if not all, Skype customers. The company has quietly made it known on its web site that it will be increasing its connection fees to 7.9 cents from 3.9 cents per call. When a reader alerted us to the move, we were surprised, to say the least. So we asked Skype what’s going on. This was the company’s response:

“The connection fee increase to non-global rate countries do not affect the per-minute charges for Skype calls. We review our pricing on an on-going basis for calls to landlines and mobile phones, and we make any necessary adjustments to reflect market conditions and deliver the best value to Skype users.”

Sure! From what I understand, the phone connection charges pretty much remain stagnant or trend lower, but not higher, so the “market conditions” argument doesn’t quite wash. Anyway, this price increase is a nice way to goose up Skype’s revenue without annoying the majority of its customers, who reside in the “global rate” countries such as the U.S., UK, Sweden, France, Germany, and several other European regions.

Non-global rate countries include places like India, which makes me wonder — perhaps it is time for me to use 3jam to make calls to mom on the weekend.



There’s a forgotten VoIP service – Yahoo Voice. It’s waaaaay cheaper than Skype and works exactly the same (to me as an end user anyway). And there is no connection fee at all.
Why do they never get a mention in any of these VoIP discussions?

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it is unlikely that skype will be able to withstand the pressure from russia to give up information about its customers. privacy issues will dominate whether or not skype will survive at all.

Doug Mohney

OK, so on a per call basis, you’re going to pay an extra 6 cents, yes? Since per-minute costs aren’t changing, correct?

If you call mom 10 times a month, that’s a whole 60 cents.

If you are calling her 100 times a month, that’s $6 bucks extra, yes? Under this scenario you would be both A) A momma’s boy and B) Really cheap.

(And I can’t believe I’m defending Skype…*sigh*)

Alexander Drewniak

Hi everyone, Alex from Rebtel here (full disclosure).

I find it rather peculiar that Skype have decided to increase a fee that most VoIP players in the market today (including ourselves) don’t even carry. Personally, I find it hard to come to terms with the argument that the increase is a mere reflection of market conditions. As Pat already pointed out (thanks for the support by the way).

Om, I apologize for the shameless plug, but if you’re a frequent caller and feel comfortable with making a slightly larger deposit ($25), you can call India for a mere 2.9 cents. Read more here if you’re interested.


Hi Alex, I dont undertsand why you would pay 2.9 cents for calls to india. there are alternatives like which charge you not even 1 ct pro minute.

can you convince me to pay 2 cents pro minute extra with rebtel?

Alexander Drewniak

Hey there Maxim,

I don’t know if I will succeed with convincing you but I’m certainly more than happy to try : )

First off, I believe the price over at ActionVoIP to India (mobiles) is 1.4 cents (US). In other words, ActionVoIP is 1.5 cents cheaper than us on that route.

In all honesty, I believe this is a case of mere personal preference. We strive to offer as much of a simple and convenient service for our users as possibe and try to liberate all our calling solutions from any downloads, need for WiFi access points or PIN numbers.

With ActionVoip you need all of those things (except maybe for a PIN) and you are tied to your computer every single time you wish to make a call to someone abroad.

If you would be using our service, you really only have to visit our website once to create an account. From there on out, you will have a unique local number for your friends forever and you can add new contacts, add credit and do most of the tasks you can do on the website via simple SMS messages or via our Rebtel Operator by calling an access number. We have one of those for each and everyone of our Rebtel Countries so you would be alright even though you travel a lot.

Personally, I believe that kind of convenience value and ease of use is worth paying those extra 1.5 cents.



Get your Mom a SIP phone (presuming she has broadband) or an ATA device. Get a Gizmo account – and am sure you will have a Google Voice number – forward Google Voice to Gizmo. Register the SIP phone with the Gizmo SIP server and your Mom is a local call away!

joe also has an unlimited plan that covers india. it is $29.99/month though. or prepaid $0.04/min


Wow! fonosip is even cheaper to my home country, Malawi. It costs US$0.08/minute while on COMFI I pay US$0.097/minute. I will give fonosip a try.


OMG! – I just tried fonosip and it cured my cat’s cancer. Then it washed my car. Incredible – thanks for the tip.


I find Skype useful when it comes to free PC to PC calls. For PC calls to landlines or mobiles, I find COMFI a lot cheaper. Rates for African countries (non-global rate countries) are generally on the higher side on most of these services. For instance, a Skype call to a Malawi mobile costs US$18.2/minute. But a COMFI call to a Malawi mobile costs US$9.7/minute.

Roshan Shrestha

My Wife’s father, in Nepal, has a US number from Skype ($30/year, that is 42.50/month, with a subscription) and unlimited calls to US/Canada ($2.95/month). Thus, to call him, or him to call us, it is just a local call and the call quality is very good, and my Wife talks to him, her mother, and brother for hours! A decent Internet connection (256 kb) is all that is required, and we have been pleased with the service.

Of course, blackouts every now and then is a problem.

Roshan Shrestha

I meant to say $2.50/month for a US number. They have a WiFi phone (Netgear) so they do not need to keep the computer on, except when they do a Video call. My Brother in law has Fring on his Nokia phone.

I have found this setup to be good and inexpensive. Not only can we call them, they can call us or anyone in the US and Canada,all for $5.50/month (US number + monthly subscription)

Pat Phelan

A strange move to say the least Om.
We both know that termination costs worldwide are dropping.
What’s next 50 second minutes?
By the way call your Mom on Rebtel, 4.9c , I’m a big fan, no connection to the company :-) just a happy user

Om Malik

For some odd reason that is what Skype is saying and perhaps doesn’t make much sense. Anyway Rebtel is nice but I am trying out 3jam. If that doesn’t work, well then I might go to Rebtel.


Or you could get Vonnage for $24.99 per month which includes free calls to India both land and cell.

Om Malik

Yeah but who wants to deal with Vonage and adding another box to the network. when they make an iPod Touch app we shall see.


That is a stupid thing to say. People would rather deal with a box that would take calls 24×7 instead of having to leave their computer on!


Yup, Vonage is so boring. I’ve been with them for 6 years and I’ve watched as many other VOIP players have innovated past them. The very fact that Vonage charges extra to use a softphone says it all.

And, @KieranMullen, with the proliferation of VOIP apps on various mobile platforms, you don’t need a computer to make/take calls.


Except that Vonage doesn’t give you video. When I was working in Germany for a month, it was the video component that really let my wife and I to keep in touch. Basic voice service is ok, but video is much better.

Then again, who needs Skype for video-phone when you’ve got Google’s services. I just need to figure out what to do with my remaining $10 balance now that I’m back States-side.

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