Coming soon – Skype voice messaging rollout, SkypeIn numbers

More interesting developments with Skype.

Stuart Henshall reports in the new Skype Journal that Skype’s voice messaging service currently in beta trial could be rolled out soon.

New information on Skype’s website has pricing details:

The price for Voicemail is 5 Euro for a 3 month subscription or 15 Euro for a 12 month subscription. If your billing address is in the EU, you will be charged 15% VAT when you purchase a Voicemail subscription. Therefore the prices will be 5.75 Euro for 3 months and 17.25 Euro for 12 months. However, a Voicemail subscription comes free with purchase of a SkypeIn number!

These are very competitive prices, the USD equivalents of about $6.70 a quarter and $20 a year before tax. I’ve been participating in the beta trial for the past few months and, in my general experience, it’s a very useful service. These prices would make it highly affordable.

When will it roll out? No official word yet from Skype. My beta trial expires in mid April so, unless that’s extended, it could be sometime around then, if not sooner.

The Skype knowledge base also includes a new section with lots of information about SkypeIn, the forthcoming additional pay-for service where you can get a phone number and people can call you (similar in concept to what rival Teleo offers).

SkypeIn would be the mirror of SkypeOut, the paid-for service that enables you to make calls out from your PC to normal phones.

So when will SkypeIn be available? The current answer from the knowledge base:

We’re testing SkypeIn internally at the moment and hoping to release it soon. Stay tuned!

Stuart’s post includes a link to an eWeek interview with Skype CEO Niklas Zennström at the CeBIT technology show taking place this week in Hanover, Germany. Zennström is quoted as saying that Skype now has 29 million users and is currently signing up new users at the rate of 155,000 per day.

With attractive new services about to be launched, and a continuing rapidly-growing customer base, I hope Skype will also be able to address the customer service and dissatisfaction issues that still remain.

To keep up with developments with Skype, stay tuned to Skype Journal.

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