Thursday, July 07, 2005

Update: Australian Calling Rates

Last week, I blogged about the large pricing disparity in calling Australian land lines versus Australian cell phones with American calling cards. I also mentioned using SkypeOut as another possible cheap way to call my g/f overseas.

Well, I tried SkypeOut as well as another calling card company called Pincity, which came highly recommended to me from a friend who uses it to call Asia.

Although SkypeOut offers the cheapest calling rates of any other technology I looked into (other than computer-to-computer of course), my experience with SkypeOut was absolutely horrible. SkypeOut from Seattle, WA to an Australian cell phone costs 2 cents a minute but it is hardly worth it (rates). The audio quality was bad but the delay (over 5 seconds) was worse -- paired together, SkypeOut to Australia was unusuable. *Given that SkypeOut is essentially Voice over IP, I imagine that they will improve.

My Sprint International Calling Card that I got from Sam's club was out of minutes, so rather than recharging it I decided to try Pincity. Pincity offers incredible global calling rates to nearly everywhere in the world (rates). Calling an Australian land line costs an incredibly low $0.05 a minute; however, calling an Australian cell phone is nearly 5 times as much ($0.23 a minute). Nonetheless, I opted to try out Pincity and purchased a 10 dollar card online. Unfortunately, not only is the Australian mobile phone rate twice as high as Sprint's, the sound quality was diminished by that digitized feedback and a 2 second delay.

As soon as my Pincity account runs out (I have roughly 35 minutes left), I'm back to Sprint.

* If you're curious, SkypeOut is able to provide insanely low call rates because it uses the internet to carry most of the call to its destination and then there is only a local charge to make the call to a regular phone (link).

No comments: