Skype announced the public beta launch of SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail, two new premium services available in the latest download versions of Skype software for Linux, MAC OS X, Pocket PC and Windows platforms. SkypeIn provides an affordable, flexible alternative to costly mobile phone roaming charges with SkypeIn personal numbers. SkypeIn customers can receive inbound calls to their Skype client from ordinary fixed telephones or mobile phones while they travel worldwide, providing seamless interconnectivity without having to pay costly roaming charges. Skype Voicemail enables users to manage incoming voicemail messages, making their Skype usage more ubiquitous.
"Skype is setting new standards for modern communications by expanding premium services that extend Skype portability, mobility and ubiquity across a variety of platforms, including the traditional phone network," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder. "SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail enhance the basic free Skype and now allows friends, family and colleagues not connected to the Internet an inexpensive and convenient way to contact members of our global user base. With Skype's new premium offerings, travellers will now be able to save thousands of dollars on roaming charges."
The new premium offerings coincide with another major milestone for Skype: the 100 millionth download of the software as recorded today. Skype has now enabled more than 7 billion high-quality minutes of talk time for Skype users worldwide, further establishing Skype as the feature-rich communications choice of cost- and quality-conscious users.
"The dramatic and exponential growth of downloads and the time devoted by Skype users to communication via Skype demonstrates consumers' and professionals' enjoyment of our continual service improvements, and the viral power of our loyal user base," added Zennstrom. "Skype is simple to use and easy to share, and the marketplace is responding by making Skype its first choice in Internet telephony."
SkypeIn customers choose a country and area code and are assigned a regular telephone number. Anyone may call the SkypeIn user at their SkypeIn number wherever the user travels, providing huge cost savings compared to mobile roaming rates and flexibility for the Skype user to receive calls at home, at the office or at a hotel anywhere. Users may purchase up to three numbers from their home country in Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States during the beta period.
Skype Voicemail customers can receive a voicemail message up to 10 minutes long from any user or traditional phone. Skype Voicemail customers may record their own personalized voicemail greeting, playback their messages, even while offline, and send incoming calls to voicemail if they away, offline or simply busy on another call.
SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail complement Skype's first premium service, SkypeOut, which allows global calling to public telephone numbers for local rates. More than 1.2 million people are now using SkypeOut. With the combination of SkypeIn and SkypeOut, users have new flexibility to expand modern communications and share those interconnection benefits with non-Skype users. Skype eliminates communications billing surprises by offering all premium services on a pre-paid basis.