Monday, September 14, 2009

Unlimited Calling, Skype or Vonage?

Skype with the new management has lot of things on the plate to address. With more than 400 million users, it needs to provide premium features for which users would be willing to pay. One of the biggest cash cow for skype is the SkypeOut feature, using which users can call landline and mobile from skype client. This makes the client more than just a normal PC client. Skype has unlimited calling plan for $12.95. However, VoIP service providers like Vonage are also aggressively moving into this arena; marketing their products for a cheaper price. Vonage world prized at $24.95/mo provides unlimited calling to 60 countries, which includes India, Mexico and Canada.

From a product standpoint, Skype and Vonage are quite different. Skype is a PC VoIP client and Vonage a VoIP landline service provider. However, both these products allow users to call national and international landline and mobile phones. The subtle difference is in how you make and receive voice calls. You need a PC to call Skype users and other phone numbers. With vonage, you can use your regular phone to make and receive calls. Both of them have a cap to the unlimited calling plan. With skype, the “unlimited” plan is 10,000 minutes per month and for Vonage, its 5,000 minutes per month. So the tall claim of supporting unlimited call is not really unlimited.

If you frequently talk to friends and families who live outside USA then “Vonage world” should be one of the best deals around. It not only allows you to call more countries, it also provides so many additional features bundled in the monthly $24.95 package.
Here are some of the features that are bundled with the monthly package
• Unlimited local and long distance in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
• FREE unlimited landline calls to all cities and locations in more than 60 other countries**, including India, Mexico and Canada NEW
• Convert all your voicemails to emails and text messages with Vonage Visual Voicemails
• Caller ID, Call Waiting and Anonymous Call Block, Call Hunt, Call Transfer, Do Not Disturb, Click-2-Call,Ring List etc
• Number portability that will allow you to keep your current number

I have used skype couple of times and the quality was always awesome, not yet subscribed to Vonage, so can’t comment about the quality. I know bunch of my friends and colleagues have switched to Vonage and so far they seem to love the service. Let me know what you guys think about these services. Additional thoughts from experts Here and Here

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1 comment:

ResourceNation said...

It sounds like Skype is more expensive off the bat, so I'm going to go with Vonage. VoIP service at 12.95 is great, but 24.95 for unlimited worldwide (sort of...) is better, and you can use your old phone. A new VoIP phone is about 100 bucks, but I'm just talking about business VoIP. If Skype had cheap phones I'd probably go with Skype cause the fees are cheaper.