Well, it's taken long enough, Skype! Starting next week you will finally be able to video call with up to five people using the company's Group Video Calling feature. The beta, which will be available sometime for download during the week of May 10th, will initially be free, but Skype plans to start charging for the multi-party video fun later in the year. We're not sure if it will support HD calling, but you can bet your bottom dollar that corporations may consider replacing their surely complex videoconferencing setup with this. In other Skype news, the company is rolling out new calling plans to more than 170 countries -- from the looks of the PR after the break, it seems like it could end up saving you big time in comparison to the pay-as-you-go rates. We like savings, sure, but we'll be even more stoked should this ever land on camera-equipped smartphones and tablets.
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Call Your Friends and Family Anywhere in the World For Less

Skype introduces new monthly calling subscriptions to 170 countries

LUXEMBOURG - May 5, 2010 - People can now call landline and mobile phones worldwide more simply and affordably than ever before, thanks to the new monthly calling subscriptions offered by Skype.

Starting tomorrow, Skype is rolling out calling plans to more than 170 countries that provide customers with a savings of up to 60 percent compared to Skype's standard Pay As You Go rates.

Customers will also have more choice with subscription plans available in 60-minute to unlimited packages, and the ability to buy 1-month, 3-month and 12-month calling subscriptions.

Skype's range of subscriptions start from as little as €0.89* ($1.09/£.69) per month and offer effective rates as low as €0.01 ($.01/£.01) per minute to almost any destination around the globe.

With the new subscriptions, Skype users have the flexibility to customize their calling plans in just three easy steps:


1. Select the countries you want to call

2. Decide whether you want to call mobile phones, landlines or both

3. Choose the plan that best suits your needs from 1-month to 12-months or 60 minutes to unlimited

"Skype's new monthly subscriptions lower the cost of international calling and make it simple to choose the plan that best meets your needs," said Neil Stevens, General Manager of Skype's Consumer Business Unit. "People around the world can now have the simplicity and flexibility to call almost any phone in the world for less."

Skype is well known for providing free voice and video calling for users around the world. Since October of 2005, the company has also offered low-cost options for Skype users who want to call landline or mobile phone numbers. Calling through Skype now accounts for 12 percent of the world's international calls according to TeleGeography Research.

Skype users can continue to call mobile phones and landlines globally without subscriptions by purchasing Skype Credit and using the Pay As You Go option. Skype will also continue to offer its popular unlimited world monthly subscriptions.

For full details on Skype's calling subscriptions, visit: www.skype.com/go/subscriptions.

Fair usage policy applies. Excludes service special, premium and non-geographic numbers.

*.€1.02, $1.25, £0.79, including VAT where applicable

About Skype
Skype is software that enables the world's conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles.
Download Skype to your computer or mobile phone at skype.com.

Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling.

Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the "S" symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.

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