I had a conversation about communication from India with Michele Butler last night and I shared some info that may be of interest to others travelling abroad for any length of time.
Skype is a program for your computer that allows you to make phone calls using a headset. Skype can be used to call other PC’s that have Skype installed, or if you purchase a subscription, you can call any cell or landline phone in the US and many other countries.
I can’t access the exact details from work, but basically it goes like this.
The cost for a subscription to make unlimited outgoing calls from Skype to any cell or landline phone runs around the $10 – $13 (per month) mark. That gives you unlimited calls back to the US to any phone. However, should you want to receive calls, you can subscribe to SkypeIn for about $18 (for a 3 month subscription) more and get a phone number that anyone can call from the US (and other countries, I’m sure) and it will ring on your computer, as if your computer was your phone. I can attest that Lisa and I used SkypeOut to call back to the States. We were there a combined total of 1 month, and all our calls (the calls can include video if the call is PC to PC) were a total of the $13.
Look into Skype folks, it will save you money. Just ask my cell phone bill..