TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Calling the USA While Traveling in Europe Query

Re: Calling the USA While Traveling in Europe Query

John Levine (
18 May 2006 03:07:01 -0000

> to talk periodically to people in the US. I will have my portable
> computer with a wireless card. Can I load Skype softward on my
> computer and then use Skype from an internet connection in the hotel?

Sure, although you may reconsider when you see what some European
hotels charge for wifi access. Skype has a promotion so that all
calls to the US are free (not just to 800 numbers which always were)
but if you have to pay $10/hr for wifi, it's not much of a bargain.

> What better ways might you suggest for inexpensive voice communication
> back to the US from Europe?

Get a decent calling card. For example, I have Cognicall's card which
is 14.5 cpm from France or 11.6 cpm from the UK, works from payphones
or the hotel room phone, and doesn't need any extra hardware.

If you're going to be spending a while in one country, see what the
local calling cards cost. Friends in the UK tell me that you can get
cards to call the US for under 5 cpm.

> While I'm at it, I gather that I will need some kind of headset/micro-
> phone in order to use Skype. I'm considering the Logitech 350; any
> opinions on this or a better solution?

I have a little generic USB handset I bought on ebay. Works fine.



Note to Pat: Back when I had Vonage, I lugged my TA around on some
trips, and it wasn't so great. I had to use my laptop as a router
since the TA doesn't speak wifi, and even at places with wired access,
you invariably had to log in from a web browser first. The TA and the
cables took up a lot more space in my suitcase than my USB handset.

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