Thursday, September 02, 2010

Making Gmail phone calls

I'm in Ireland right now and I'm glad to report that I can now make Gmail phone calls. This feature only came out a few days ago and was initially restricted to US users.
I was prompted to try Gmail Phone once again after seeing this LifeHacker post.
As opposed to the guy who wrote this post, I did nothing as I always use English (USA) as my default language.
I've used Skype for many years to make calls either within Ireland (generally mobile calls only) or to Brazil (either landline or mobile).
In this post I want to compare costs of Skype and Gmail Phone for these areas of interest to me.
Two important differences between how Skype and Gmail charges are relevant here:
1. Skype changes a connection fee for all calls while Gmail doesn't.
2. Skype charges me (in Ireland) in Euros while Gmail charges everybody in US$

So, a 10-minute mobile call within Ireland would cost €1.885 on Skype while the same call on Gmail Phone would set me back €1.507 (assumes €1=US$1.26)
A 10-minute call to a mobile in Brazil (Belo Horizonte, MG) would cost €2.081 on Skype and €1.190 on Gmail.
A 30-minute call to a landline in Brazil (Belo Horizonte, MG) would cost €1.621 on Skype and €0.952 on Gmail.

Well, looks like Gmail can provide far cheaper calls for me.
But, wait, right now Skype has a special promotion where I can get up to 400 minutes of calls to Brasil for €6.88 (pre-paid) and no connection fee applies.
Under this scheme, my 30-minute call to a landline in BH would cost only €0.516
Amazing what a little competition will do for the customer.

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