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Skype to offer free calls in North America to wireline and mobile phones.

INTERNET BUSINESS NEWS-(C)1995-2006 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

Details of a promotional campaign enabling users in Canada and the US to make free calls to fixed line and mobile phones have been unveiled by Skype, the Internet telephone company and unit of online auction company eBay Inc.

Skype's users in Canada and the US have previously had to pay for calls from their computers to traditional telephones but the company is attempting to boost usage in North America, where take-up has been slower than in other regions. Its offer covers calls within Canada and the US until the end of the year, although calls to conventional phones in other countries will be charged for.

Skype said the free calling offer for users in North America will expand the company's penetration in the region. It said the provision had been made possible due to the low-cost structure of the telecomms market in North America, in comparison to other markets.

Skype's plan is expected to put pressure on Vonage Holdings Corp, a rival VoIP service, and Internet service companies such as AOL, EarthLink, Google, Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc.

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Publication:Internet Business News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EULU
Date:May 16, 2006
Words:198
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