An [article published by The Age]( announced the Australian launch of [Skype]( yesterday (April 27).

> Australian broadband users have been able use the Skype software for free internet conversations for the past three years.

> In 2004 the company (also called Skype) gave a hint of its plans when it launched SkypeOut, which allows users to make paid calls to numbers on fixed-line and mobile networks. Calls to fixed-line phones in 30 of the world’s biggest countries, including Germany, China and the US, are charged at a flat rate of €0.017 (A2.8¢) a minute.

> Today’s launch is of a service called SkypeIn, which fully integrates the company into traditional phone networks. SkypeIn users can buy an Australian phone number for an annual fee of €30, which allows incoming calls from mobile and fixed-line customers

You can download the free Skype application from the website [](

I’ve been using it for some time now. I’ve worked out that calls to land lines cost about 10 cents per call.

Calls are free to other Skype users. I’d recommend getting an headset to use with it.