Skype opens online store in Australia

VoIP provider Skype yesterday opened its first online store in Australia, targeting individuals looking to cut costs on their phone bills.

The company, which provides free instant messaging and voice calls between users, also offers cheap international calls to non-Skype users.

The service works by placing a phone call first over a conventional internet network, which then switches to traditional telephone networks. The company made US$153 million last quarter through selling Skype-Out credits – credits needed to make calls to non-Skype users.

One third of the company’s users are in the Asia-Pacific region, equating to about 143 million people. The company said a presence in the area makes sense, with the site selling call credits, headsets, webcams and VoIP phone handsets.

The company indicated that it may eventually open bricks-and-mortar retail stores in the future.


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