Skype introduces new monthly calling subscriptions to 170 countries

As summer approaches, being able to make affordable phone calls becomes more important than ever. Even though many of us rely on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to stay in touch, there are still plenty of situations where you need to pick up the phone.

Skype has always been a great solution for this – but their service just got even better thanks to a lineup of new subscription based calling plans. Starting tomorrow, Skype is rolling out calling plans to more than 170 countries that provide callers with a savings of up to 60 percent compared to their standard Pay As You Go rates.

With the new subscriptions, Skype offers users the flexibility to customize their calling plans in just three easy steps:

1. Select the countries you want to call
2. Decide whether you want to call mobile phones, landlines or both
3. Choose the plan that best suits your needs from 1-month to 12-months or 60 minutes to unlimited

These new subscriptions start as low as $1.09 per month and offer effective rates as low as $.01 per minute to almost any destination around the globe.

With these new plans, you’ll be able to make unlimited calls, often for less than the cost of a single minute of international mobile roaming. To make Skype even better, Verizon Wireless customers can install Skype Mobile on a variety of 3G smartphones.

Skype video call saves wedding messed up by volcanic ash

A couple stranded in Dubai by the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic ash managed to save their wedding day and share it with family and friends – all thanks to the generosity of their hotel, and Skype.

The took their vows in front of hotel guests and a webcam equipped laptop broadcast the event to friends and family back in the United Kingdom.

Best of all, the celebration was shared with other hotel guests who had been stranded for days – and since everyone loves a wedding, some guests even helped out with hair and make-up for the Bride.

I’ve been a long time fan of Skype, and always use it when I’m on the road – the video communication part of Skype is a fantastic way of staying in touch with my family and free Skype to Skype calling has saved me thousands in international calling charges.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the hotel even decorated the lobby and made a three tier wedding cake.

For those that have never used Skype – I highly recommend taking it for a spin. With Skype on your laptop, desktop or even on your mobile device, you can make free calls to other Skype users, or very cheap calls to landline and mobile numbers. In addition to voice calls, Skype also does hassle-free video calls in very high quality, without having to deal with networking issues.