Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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iPhone, Skype, Land Lines and International rates

Skype on the iPhone

Skype on the iPhone works exactly as you would expect.

The iPhone automatically detects all wireless hotspots in the vicinity (it does this with or without Skype installed and it uses the wireless connection for all internet traffic while connected.)

Start Skype and you can see who's online and have a conversation with them or call them off-net through Skype just as you do on your computer.

The only deficiency I can see is that you can't multi-task while Skyping; while using the cell phone you can switch to other applications but with Skype doing this disconnects the call.

The AT&T cell + data package seems to be less money than Verizon's and the iPhone beats the pants off a Blackberry.

I have broken free from the landline tether.

I had a land-line Verizon home phone number forever but I have canceled it.

That number had been call-forwarded to my cell phone
- About $60 a month.

So I now have a Skype-in number:
call that number and if I'm offline (most of the time) the call will forward to my cell phone @ $0.02/minute.
- Exactly $60 a year (for the number, plus charges for any calls which I expect will be very few.)

$720/year vs. $60/year. Duh.

Why have any number other than my cell phone at all? In my case, I need a local area code for the guard at the gate of my condo where the phone is blocked for all non-local calls. Skype also offers international Skype-in numbers so your mother in France can call you with a local number. Etc.

The iPhone is an option for international cell phone use but it can be expensive. Here are AT&T's recommendations to reduce this expense.

When using your service outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands (for either voice or data), international roaming rates apply. Your iPhone provides access to email, Visual Voicemail, Web browsing and other applications that can use a significant amount of data, so remember-international data roaming can get expensive quickly.

How iPhone Users Can Minimize International Data Charges:

Originally published: Friday, April 17, 2009; most-recently modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2019