Last week I provided a review of my experience with a recent production model of the FREETALK® Connect•Me Adapter for Home Phone, initially available in the U.S. and Canada. To quickly recall its primary feature, the Connect•Me Adapter allows you to make PC-free Skype and SkypeOut calls and, optionally, landline calls from an existing home phone.
It turns out that adapting this product to other countries involves more than simply supporting another plug for the power connection. The landline telco industry backbones in each country also have variables that need to be addressed in order for the landline component of the FREETALK® Connect•Me Adapter for Home Phone to work properly in an individual country.
Effective today U.K. residents can “Skype from your Home Phone” with the launch of the FREETALK® Connect•Me Adapter for Home Phone U.K. edition. It’s available at the U.K. Skype Store, with options that include three month subscriptions for:
- up to 300 minutes** of international calls to landlines and mobiles, or
- unlimited* calls to landlines in the UK and Ireland and up to 300 minutes of international** calls to landlines and mobiles, or
- unlimited* international calls to landlines and mobiles in 41 countries***
It’s also available at Amazon U.K. and the eBuyNow UK store with similar options for Skype calling plans.
Of course Skype-to-Skype calls worldwide continue to be free.
For those U.K. residents who want a new dual mode PC-free phone (Skype and PSTN landline) a Philips VoIP855 cordless phone has also become available. This option allows you to include up to 200 of your Skype contacts in a phone book (and 100 names for landline numbers) as well as to make use of Skype’s presence feature. The previous GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone and RTX Dualphone 3088 are other options available.
Aside from the power adapter and firmware to support the U.K. landine PSTN, the discussion points in my previous review apply.
In conjunction with these product announcements Skype has issued a press release covering a survey they recently sponsored:
- No job too far – 50% of Brits say accepting a job abroad is easier with advances in communication technology
Note re the calling plan offerings:
*A fair usage policy applies. Excludes service, special, premium and non-geographic numbers. UK landline calls are those made to area codes beginning 01 and 02.
** The actual number of minutes may vary depending on your calling destination and the number of calls you make. A connection fee applies.
***Unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong S.A.R., China, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, United States
Unlimited calls to landlines only in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg,Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia (Moscow and St.Petersburg only), Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom