Mobile Broadband Communications with Skype

You can use mobile broadband communications as an alternative to other technologies such as mobile phones, and it can save you money! Although mobile broadband is restricted by data allowance (the amount of internet usage), mobile phones are also restricted by the number of minutes and/or texts.

As the internet plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives, using mobile broadband communications as your primary form of staying in touch whilst out and about – put the phone to one side and use your nimble netbook (some mobile broadband contracts even come with free texts!).

One solution to the growing trend in mobile computing is Skype.

What is Skype?

Skype is a great way of taking advantage of the potential of mobile broadband communications. Skype is a little piece of free, downloadable software that allows users to make free skype-to-skype calls. What does this mean? Skype users, from Aberdeen to Zakynthos can call each other on their computers via the internet without paying – great for contacting people overseas who you’d otherwise have to shell out for expensive international calling rates – better than a Facebook message then?

Skype software has dozens of different applications:

> Free Skype-to-Skype calls, be it to your next-door neighbour or your distant relative on the other side of the world

> Send and Receive calls to and from landline phones and mobiles at much cheaper rates compared to conventional phone calls

> Create an ‘online number’ enabling people to call you at local rates

> Send text messages straight from Skype

> Voicemail services

> Call forwarding

> Instant Messaging Services

> Video calls and conferencing

Skype to landline telephone numbers starts at £0.012 per minute, Texts from £0.026 and transferring calls to landline and mobile numbers from £0.012 per minute. Impressive eh? You can save even more (or get premium goods for free) with a subscription as well as a whole other range of other services such as setting up a number for people to call you via Skype.

But at the end of the day, there’s always a cost be it in getting your internet connection to enable Skype to connect. Of course, it says ‘just get to a wifi zone’ – but how easy is that? What if you’re out of range (most public wifi networks can only cover a hundred metres odd, and then only around major public facilities)? What if the network’s locked? Then mobile broadband communications will be your only option.

Comparing the cost of mobile broadband relative to international roaming rates or home broadband is the key question. Whilst wi-fi networks are restrictive and generally online available in public places for “free”. At home, wi-fi comes from your home broadband provider, which of course comes at a cost.

O2 mobile broadband provides it’s customers with unlimited access to their wifi-hotspot network, ‘The Cloud’ within the UK. Contracts can start for as little as £10 per month, putting it on favourable terms with the cheapest O2 home broadband options, with only a third of the total data allowance for similar tariffs.

But can I use Skype on my phone?

Nokia E71 Grey_£20 Texter & Internet plan_at_3mobi

Yes, you can. It’s created a big divide in the mobile phone industry since it totally undermines the requirement for expensive phone contracts with minutes and texts. Some networks completely endorse Skype, such as 3 (Three) who have 'optimized' their network for Skype and encourage the idea of free calls. The fact is that whilst Skype removes the need for minutes and texts, it simply switches the connection needed to an internet format, again showing how today’s trends are changing.

You can get Skype on your iPhone via the App store and make calls for free (currently via wifi networks only). Still, having already shelled out on an expensive contract the savings with Skype App are from overseas calls. Otherwise you’d simply be using Skype over your existing minutes and texts.

Please bare in mind that some network providers do not endorse or encourage VoIP services (such as Skype) with their mobile broadband services. Please do read all terms and conditions to make sure your contract allows the use of Skype before use. Remember, you can use Skype with any wi-fi network with no problem at all.

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