Skype promises one-cent-a-minute international calls to landlines

Skype has launched new monthly plans for international calls to landlines and cellphones, and is expected this week to launch a video chat feature.

It says the plans, which cover 170 countries, give savings of up to 60 percent compared to Skype’s standard Pay As You Go rates.

Subscription plans are available in 60-minute to unlimited packages, and there are one, three and 12-month calling subscriptions from $1.09 per month. They equate to rates as low as one cent per minute to almost any country.

“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.”

The option of buying Skype Credit and using Pay As You Go will still be on offer, as will unlimited world monthly subscriptions.

Skype is also soon to launch a videoconferencing service, according to AP.

The group video chat feature will launch next week as a free beta, it says, but the final version will be charged for. A windows version will come first, with a Mac offering later in the year.