Another front has been opened in the battle to bring cheap internet-based telephone calls to home users.
Skype, which previously offered free calls between its users via a piece of software, has launched SkypeOut, allowing its users to call standard telephone lines all over the world.
Under its SkypeOut Global Rate plan, the company will charge a flat rate of €0.012 (1p) per minute to call any one of 25 countries, including the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, Hong Kong and Australia.
VAT at 15 per cent will be charged for calls made to numbers within the EU. Calls to other countries will cost up to €1.242 (83p) per minute, although calls to other Skype users will remain free.
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