About two years ago I received a call from a colleague of mine who was also a non-executive director on the ICDL Foundation in Cape Town. It was strange because I would have assumed calling me from his cellphone would be reasonable priced. For the longest time I’ve had the default belief that landline to landline, cellphone to cellphone and of course Skype to Skype is the best/cheapest way of making calls.

After posting this introductory post about Skype I received several questions about using Skype Credit and Skype Phones in South Africa. This post outlines the answers to those questions and more. Keep posting your questions if you have even more specific questions about Skype.

1. How to buy Skype Credit in South Africa if you do not have a credit card

This is a simple one for me because all you need is a credit card. However, most people still do not have credit cards. The best alternative is to get a cheque card, which is now available from most South African banks. The Mastercard/VISA cheque cards offer you the same advantages as you would have in using a cheque, but with added convenience of a credit card as well as safety and cost benefits. You can shop online without a credit card.

Remember to check the official Skype Blog for detailed instruction on how to purchase Skype Credit. And because the credits expire after a few months I suggest you see this thread on MyADSL for details. Contact your bank: ABSA, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank to upgrade your debit card or ATM card to one of these babies and join the world of Amazon, eBay or Kahalahri.net

2. How does Skype call costs compare with Telkom/Vodacom/MTN/Cell C

This is a difficult one to answer because there are so many options offered by the different providers. There is also varying rates depending on whether you call from a landline to cellphone or cellphone to cellphone. Hellkom has a detailed listing of international call comparisons between Skype and Telkom. To get a sense of comparisons with the cellphone networks you visit their respective websites at Vodacom, MTN, Cell C or Virgin Mobile.