Sunday, 11 March 2007

Skype to the rescue

Scratch cards and phone cubicles

The first time I got one of those telephone scratch cards to make International calls to Nigeria, I was completely clueless about what to do, then I once walked into one of those international telephony shops in Antwerp, the system did not work for me and the support was dire.

A number of those telephony shops on the Antwerp main street in front of the Central Station now have Police Notices, one can only wonder why - the suspicion is that they might have been havens for all sorts of nefarious activities from Advanced Fee Fraud to Money Laundering.

Anyway, I have had the comfort of my landline to call anywhere I want in the world without worrying about the bill. There have been times that I have made those calls on my mobile phone if situation requires that I do.

The loss of the international telephony service from my landline is definitely not good, most of my contacts are in the UK and then I have friends all around the world including Papua New Guinea (PNG), you say Papua What? Well, he went there and I would only visit to rendezvous at Darwin in Australia - the whole thought of natives picking their teeth with my bones is not in the least endearing.

That is what happens if your knowledge of faraway lands is based on fable, folklore, generalisations and rumour.

Skype, it is

So, I have got me Skype - Internet Telephony, the whole works - ability to call landlines - €0.017 per minute - over most of the globe, call forwarding to my mobile, private phone number in the UK such that with Skype Pro all national calls are free and a Sitecom Skype-compatible USB handset.

Since, I always travel with my laptop and I always try to get online anyhow, Skype is an added capability that means, I do not have to pay exorbitant hotel phone bills or outrageously rip-off mobile roaming charges.

I think I have adopted this technology at the right time; for those who really do need to have completely free calls, get on Skype and get your friends on Skype too, that way, you create networks of free communication for as long as you want.

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