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.