By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Skype revamped its paid calling plans earlier this month, offering a raft of new all-you-can-dial services for its U.S. and global users.
For U.S. consumers, Skype is offering unlimited SkypeOut calls to the United States and Canada for $2.95/month. Subscribers will receive a 50 percent discount on a SkypeIn phone number.
Unlimited calls to landlines in select Mexican cities, along with discounted rates to the rest of Mexico, will cost $5.95/month.
Skype will also offer an international plan with unlimited dialing to landlines in 34 countries for $10.95/month. Users can enjoy a 50 percent discount on up to three SkypIn numbers with this plan.
Skype ceased sales of its annual subscription plan at the end of 2007 and has phased out its Pro calling plan for new subscribers as well (though it will continue to support existing subscribers).
Skype also announced a thin client for roughly 50 Java-enabled mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
The software would support group chats, online presence and incoming Skype calls. The ability to place outgoing Skype calls or free Skype-to-Skype calls will only be supported in seven overseas markets initially.
The beta will last "several months," Skype said. When placing Skype calls or using other Skype features, the software will use the cellular provider's voice and data network.
Skype has been eyeing the mobile category for some time. Last year it filed a petition with the FCC requesting that cellular networks open themselves up to allow connections from any device or application. At the CTIA trade show last month, Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Kevin Martin denied Skype's request.
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