Here's the news:
Skype®, the global Internet communications company, today announced that all US and Canadian-based Skype customers can now make free SkypeOut™ calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the US and Canada. Previously, Skype users in both countries were required to pay for Skype calls from their PCs to traditional telephones. Free SkypeOut calls to the US or Canada will be available to US and Canadian-based Skype users until the end of the year.
Skype has now removed any cost barrier for its American and Canadian customers to keep in touch with friends, family and business associates. Skype anticipates that completely free calling in the US and Canada will expand Skype’s increasing penetration in North America and solidify Skype’s position as the Internet’s voice communication tool of choice. More people will now have the chance to benefit from Skype’s premium services and online calling capabilities.
“Millions of consumers around the world are flocking to Skype every month, and we believe free SkypeOut calling will rapidly accelerate Skype adoption in the US and Canada,” said Henry Gomez, General Manager, Skype North America. “We’re very excited to be bringing Skype’s convenience and voice quality to so many people for free.”
While SkypeOut calls within the US and Canada will now be free, SkypeOut calls to and within all other countries will continue to incur charges. Those charges are unchanged by today’s announcement and remain among the lowest available to consumers.
Last week Skype released a new beta version of its software that adds even more features and functionality to Skype’s voice and video calling options, including: SMS; simplified dialing; payments in Skype; Outlook contact integration; call quality management; simplified registration; shared contact groups; and improved conference calling. On May 1, after just more than two and a half years in operation, Skype achieved 100 million registered users worldwide.