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?
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.
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.