Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fring For All

Did you ever have to read something like five times to make sure you weren't seeing things or totally misunderstanding it. When I read through the description of fring, I had to take a quintuple-take. I'll spare you some of the technical jargon and cut to the chase. The bottom line is how would you like unlimited minutes on your cell phone and a guarantee that it'll always get a signal in your house? And what if I told you it would cost about $68 a year?

No, I'm not smoking anything. Yes, I feel fine. Of course I know what my name is. I'm telling you it's true.

In beta now, fring is "Mobile VoIP Telephony designed for GPRS, 3G & Wi-Fi Networks." That means with the right phone and a reasonable data plan you can basically use Skype as your primary phone service. Skype Unlimited gives you unlimited calls to any phone in the US and Canada for just $29.95 per year. You can get a SkypeIn number for $38 per year. You still have to have a data plan on your device (translation: monthly charge) but that is still a lot cheaper than my current 2100 min./mo. plan costs. $68 a year! Having managed for one of the global wireless carries for a few years, let me tell you this is their worst nightmare. And Ma Bell, nice knowin' ya.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rachel from Fring for letting us know that they do not yet support Skype Unlimited but plan to in the future.

There are several caveats. You have to have the right phone (Nokia is the primary choice now) and use either Cingular or T-Mobile service (in the U.S.) for now. I still feel like it's too good to be true or maybe I've missed something. If this is what it appears to be, I believe you're looking at the future of voice communications...and probably the reason that carriers will begin to hike their data plan rates.


christina said...

so much for sprint users!

Unknown said...

Tell me about it; I use Verizon. I'm thinking I want a second generation iPhone which probably means a switch to Cingular (uurgh!). Maybe by then the iPhone will use 3G.

Unknown said...

question oh wise apple one :-)
I have a set of apple g4 speakers given to me and wondering if there is a program or attachment I can use to connect them with my macbook? the speakers are week on this laptop and would like a little boost. Thank you oh great one

Unknown said...

Nate, I want to make sure I understand the issue.

It sounds like you have the Apple Pro Speakers that are powered directly from the G4's proprietary speaker minijack using a single cable. Is the issue that the MacBook jack does not supply power like the G4 jack does?

Anonymous said...

Hi and thanks for your words.

I would like to (unfortunately) make a correction to your post. We do not yet support SkypePro (Unlimited Skype). We hope to support it in the future.

Best regards,

Unknown said...

Rachel, thanks for that clarification. We'll being looking forward to it.

christina said...

to answer your question YES the macbook does not seem to recognize the speakers. I am not sure (still a rookie at the macbook) but I tried to plug them into both of the inputs it would fit and nothing - I would hate to part with these freebies but if they don't work then oh well

Unknown said...

Nate, that sounds like it's the deal. I could be mistaken but I think they need power and your macBook doesn't feed power through it's soundout jack. If you just want to be sure, it sounds like a good excuse to stop by the Apple store. :-)