Skype, the giant VoIP network, has recently launched their new subscriptions which mean you can now by monthly subscriptions which give you a certain amount of minutes per month. This supposedly makes the service cheaper for users who don’t get through many minutes in a month.
You can also get plans with unlimited minutes (subject to fair usage) but these seem to have heavily increased in price.
Anyway, for the UK, the fixed minute plans actually seem to be very good value. The 100 minute per month plan to UK landlines costs just £1.19 per month (ex vat) and seems very practical. For 400 minutes, you’ll be paying £2.99 per month (ex vat) which also seems to be very good. However, you have to consider that this is a substantial price increase, as you used to be able to get unlimited (FUP of 10,000) minutes per month for £2.95 per month (excluding vat), so eBay (the company behind Skype) are obviously trying to make more money.
As for the mobile minutes plans, I’m very disappointed. In the UK, 60 minutes per month to UK mobiles costs a whopping £6.99 per month (ex vat). You might be thinking big whoop, £6.99 isn’t much – but when you consider that with giffgaff I get 100 minutes to any number + unlimited texts + unlimited calls/texts to people on the same network for just £10 a month, it matches Skype and has the added convenience of being mobile.
So overall, I’m pretty uninspired by the price increases. I think it’s just increased prices broken down into new plans, but I suppose some people will like the new plans which could be better value for people only using Skype casually for PSTN calls.
Oh and by the way, if you currently have one of Skype’s old subscriptions (such as the unlimited calls to UK landlines for £2.95 per month ex vat), don’t cancel it. You can keep paying the old, cheaper rate if you keep your subscription. However, as soon as you cancel it or miss a payment, you are subject to the new rates.