Thursday, November 29, 2007

The 3 SkypePhone and 3's coverage

So I'm currently in the States, where of course my new 3 SkypePhone doesn't work. Or at least the interesting Skype bits of the phone doesn't work...

However I was loaned two handsets by 3, and my wife has the second handset. So theoretically at least, we're good. Gemma can carry around her SkypePhone back in the UK, and I can call her from the States for free from my laptop using Skype. Why theoretically? Well so far the places where there isn't any 3 coverage is getting rather long: our house, her parent's house, her office, my office, the cities and towns we visit regularly. The list of places where there is coverage is considerably shorter.

The couple of Skype calls we have managed have had fairly good voice quality, but I've been out here a week and we've only managed those couple of calls because of the coverage issues. Generally I've been using Gizmo, which unlike Skype uses SIP which is actually standards compliant, and means I can call my home phone network for free. Which isn't something I can do with Skype.

So what's my impression so far? If you live in central London, and you use Skype, go out and buy yourself and your family some phones. You probably won't regret it. But if you live in a more rural area, be careful. The phone itself is pretty nice, it works as advertised, but at least for me, 3's coverage doesn't extend to anywhere we really need to be...