Skype has a new offer for Indian users and now allows them to make free voice calls to landlines and mobiles in the United States and Canada. The offer is valid till March 1, 2015. However the calls do come with some riders in accordance with Skype’s fair usage policy.
The offer only applies to Skype calls made for individual use only (personal or business communications) and cannot be used for telemarketing and call centre operations. Skype says that unusual calling patterns inconsistent with normal use, for example, regular calls of short duration or calls to multiple numbers in a short period of time will not be considered as legitimate usage.
For users who already have credit in their Skype accounts, the credit will not be used for qualifying calls from India to the US and Canada during the offer period. Once the offer period has ended, users will be charged as usual.
For Skype subscriptions with fixed minutes allowance then the users’ minutes allowance will not be used for calls made to the US and Canada in the offer period. However, the subscription will end at the specified time even if users have not used the full minutes allowance and cannot be carried forward beyond the end of the subscription period.
This move by Skype is interesting in the light that in November the VoIP service discontinued the ability for Indian users to make Skype calls to landlines and mobiles within India from November 10, 2014. Skype had mentioned that it will allow users to make calls to mobiles and landlines in India from outside the country and make International calls from India to mobiles and landlines in other countries.
Note that as per Indian laws, PC to PC, or IP to IP telephony is currently allowed but calls originating from within India cannot be terminated on mobiles or landlines. However, there has been a practice of calls originating on IP in India, being routed internationally, and then being terminated on landline or mobile networks within India.