Using Skype for Telephony


I am a big fan of Skype and use it a lot for personal use and outgoing calls. I am now considering it for business purposes due to the amount of travel I have planned and international calling I am doing.

Ideally, I would like to set up both a UK and USA Based inbound telephone number and ideally receive incoming calls to these numbers via Skype (SkypeIn?).

When I am not online I would like to route those calls to my cell phone, wherever I may be in the world.

Is Skype reliable and suitable for that? Any chance of dropping calls would be a big problem, but I am also finding that direct redirects to an overseas cellphone is less than reliable.

Any comments or personal experience?


asked Apr 2 '10 at 19:56
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points

3 Answers


Don't have hands-on experience. But Andrew Warner of Mixergy does a lot of interviews via Skype, worldwide:

answered Apr 3 '10 at 07:00
116 points
  • I've done those interviews. Mine cut out in the middle and was fuzzy in parts. However some of that is due to video which (a) requires many times more bandwidth than voice and (b) isn't required for the question at hand. So maybe it's OK. – Jason 14 years ago
  • If you're curious, that interview is here: 14 years ago
  • that was a great interview - thank you, jason and congrats to your great work and success! – Philobus 14 years ago


I've been using Skype Unlimited World ($15/month) for about 2 years - all the interviews in Web Startup Success Guide, almost all the episodes of the Startup Success Podcast, all my daily startup business.

  1. Far better overall sound quality than either landlines or mobiles. I'd rather have 99.9% great sound with a decreasing frequency of static/garble than mediocre sound quality 100% of the time.
  2. Calls to India inevitably lose connection after about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Calls within the US, to the UK, EU are fine. Also good for South America, Japan, Anzac.
  4. I disconnected long distance on my business line for a month. Only problem I had was AT&T now considers any call not to your immediate area "long distance". And I do mean immediate. Now on their cheapest "long distance" plan.
  5. Jason is right - all the above applies to audio only. Don't do video because I don't want to scare off the interviewees.
answered Apr 4 '10 at 01:43
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • What type of equipment do you use with Skype? I've had challenges with finding a reliable headset that sounds good to both parties and considered getting a dedicated Skype phone; I've used it on speaker phone mode through my computer speakers and had it sound great to me but awful to the other party... I know I sounded off when you interviewed me over Skype due to my end. What equipment has worked out well for you? – Kendall Miller 14 years ago


I used to work for Magnum Photos - all inter-office phone calls and conferences were handled by Skype, with Video. Generally speaking call quality was acceptable, but we did have to get used to the call drop outs, particularly with Euro -> USA calls with multiple participants.

I'd say Skype is a fantastic solution to get you up and running when finances are tight. Particularly good value is the Skype Out and Skype In services. I now have international dial-in numbers in the USA and UK, all redirect to various mobiles when i'm not logged in to Skype.

In terms of headsets - you can get through the cheap ones fairly quickly, so spend money where you can. I'd recommend spending the most amount of money to can afford to. If you haven't got any spare cash to buy a headset? iPhone headphones with inbuilt mic are a good emergency solution, but noise pollution is quite bad.

answered Apr 4 '10 at 18:45
Matt O
44 points

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