Skype and Intel Corporation announce a joint effort to advance a shared vision of establishing the personal computer as a central and reliable platform for voice and video calling over the Internet. By offering an Intel-sponsored day of free global calling over Skype on Mother’s Day to U.S. and Canadian consumers, the two companies are encouraging U.S. and Canadian users to take advantage of Internet communication via their PCs or laptops. This builds on the success of the Skype Unlimited Calling plan which has enabled thousands of consumers across the U.S. and Canada to save hundreds of dollars on domestic calling since it was introduced in December 2006.
According to a March 2007 In-Stat report entitled U.S. Residential Voice-Over IP Market Dynamics and Market Tracker, the number of VoIP households in the U.S. continued to grow briskly in the fourth quarter, with more than 10.6 million households now using VoIP. In-Stat found that while cable providers drove strong adoption of VoIP, Skype gained significant market share in the quarter, consolidating its leading market position at the expense of its client-based VoIP rivals. The report credits Skype’s innovative and disruptive pricing and product strategy for its success, citing the Skype Unlimited Calling plan for allowing registered users to make unlimited SkypeOut
calls to any phone number in the U.S. and Canada for a flat, annual subscription fee of just $29.95, almost 90 percent less than traditional calling plans that can cost consumers $24.95 per month or more.
“This initiative builds on our efforts to establish Skype as a standard for Internet communications,” said Don Albert, general manager and vice president of Skype North America. “The PC is central to the way consumers and business users connect and collaborate with one another. We’re delighted at how well Skype runs on PCs and laptops featuring Intel Core 2 Duo processor technology.”
Consumers in the U.S. and Canada can take advantage of Internet communications over Skype by placing free SkypeOut calls to any landline or mobile number around the world on Mother's Day (May 13, 2007). Sponsored by Intel, the “Gift of Gab” promotion represents the first time that U.S. and Canadian users will be able to make free SkypeOut calls to anywhere in the world for a period of 24 hours. Calls from one registered Skype user to another remain free. Usually, SkypeOut calls are billed at per-minute fees depending on the location called, with rates beginning at the low Skype global dialing rate of 2.1 cents per minute. More information about the “Gift of Gab” is available at www.skype.com/go/giftofgab
Intel is sponsoring the Gift of Gab promotion as a way to demonstrate how audio and video calling are optimized when using PCs powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. For example, Skype conference calls are now clearer and users’ PCs are more responsive during these calls. These improvements are a result of collaborative efforts between Intel and Skype engineers.
“Through Intel and Skype’s ‘Gift of Gab’ promotion, consumers and business users can experience the immediate benefits of the Internet communications lifestyle–especially on Mother’s Day, normally the busiest calling holiday of the year,” said Gregory Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Office Platform Division. “This initiative builds upon our existing efforts with Skype to deliver an enhanced Voice over IP experience. We have optimized the processor and chipset—supporting wide-band high definition audio, for instance—and Skype users have a rich calling experience on their PCs as a result.”
Participants in the “Gift of Gab” promotion who enjoy their trial of Skype’s Internet communications experience on Mother’s Day can sign up for the significant savings of the Skype Unlimited Calling plan for just $29.95 for an entire year of calling to any landline or mobile phone in the U.S. or Canada at Skype.com