Skype is not a traditional business phone system. While it is closer to a virtual phone system, it differs in some ways. It allows you to have voice and video conversations from your computers and mobile devices. While it might not have all the bells and whistles of a more advanced traditional or virtual phone system, it does have a number of features and tools businesses will find valuable. The service is also much more affordable than many other business phone systems.
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Competitive Pricing and Terms
Skype offers several different pricing plans based on who and where you are calling. If you only plan on calling other Skype users, the service is free. However, there is a monthly charge to make calls to mobile and landline phones.
Three of the subscription plans allow unlimited talking minutes:
- United States subscription: This plan is $2.99 per month. You can call people in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico.
- North America subscription: This plan is $6.99 per month. You can call people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands.
- World subscription: This plan is $13.99 per month. It allows you to make calls to people in 63 countries.
For each plan, you can save 5 percent by paying for three months at a time or 15 percent by paying for a year in advance.
All of the subscription plans are paid month to month, but they renew automatically. You must cancel subscriptions at least three days before your renewal date to avoid being charged for the next billing cycle.
In addition to the monthly plans, there is a pay-as-you-go plan. With this plan, you purchase blocks of Skype credit that can be used for each call. There is a 2.3 cents charge per minute for each call. With this option, you can call any number worldwide.
Even though it isn't a traditional phone system, Skype offers a variety of calling, video, messaging, and sharing features and tools, including the following.
- Group calls
- Call forwarding to any phone
- Caller ID
- One-to-one video calls
- Group video calls
- Emojis and emoticons
- Video messaging
- Instant messaging
- Text messaging
- Mobile group chat
- File sending
- Screen sharing
- Group screen sharing
- Contacts sending
There are several other reasons you may want to consider Skype for your business phone needs:
- Skype offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can make and receive calls using your Skype number, conduct group chats, and send text, voice and video messages.
- If you want to pair Skype with your traditional phone system, you can add Skype Connect to your existing SIP-enabled PBX. This will allow you to make and receive Skype calls on your office phones.
- It also offers Skype for Business for Microsoft 365 users. With this, you can make voice and video calls and let people know your availability with your online status.
Skype isn't a traditional phone system and doesn't offer all of the features and tools those systems do, such as call paging and call blocking. Additionally, since it isn't a traditional phone system, you can't make emergency calls to police or fire departments.
Another potential drawback is that Skype is designed for individual users, so it might not be the best option for small businesses with multiple employees.
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