Skype launches free call promotion
Skype, the Web telephone company, said on Monday it would allow consumers in the United States and Canada to make free phone calls, a promotional move that marks a new blow to conventional voice calling services.
The offer, which extends through the end of 2006, covers calls from computers or a new category of Internet-connected phones running Skype software making calls to traditional landline or mobile phones within the United States and Canada.
Previously, users of Skype, a unit of online auctioneer eBay Inc. (EBAY.O: Quote, Profile, Research), were required to pay for calls from their PCs to traditional telephones in both countries. Calls from North America to phones in other countries will incur charges.
Skype already offers free calling to users worldwide who call from computer to computer.