Expat Tech: Skype for iPhone Now Supports 3G Calls

Skype 2.0 for the iPhone was just released and it now includes the ability to make calls over 3G networks. Previously, you could only make calls over WiFi.

I immediately put it to the test on my jail-broken and unlocked iPhone 3G using Movistar’s pre-paid 3G network. Guess what? It works great and the call clarity was perfect.  Now, I’ll be able to make calls to the US while I’m out in Buenos Aires without having to find a WiFi access point first.

Of course, you’ll need to have Skype Credit to make outbound calls to non-Skype numbers, but the costs are pretty low – from $0.021 per minute to $6.99/month for unlimited calling.

The only bad news? Skype over 3G is free until August 2010, but after that date they plan to start charging a “small monthly fee.”  Calls over WiFi will not have this charge, but you lose the flexibility of using it anywhere. Questions about a conspiracy with having to pay AT&T are popping up all over the Internet.

BONUS: As of late April 2010, you can now set your Skype Caller ID to be the same as your Google Voice number. That way people you call will see your Google Voice number rather than a random string of numbers that Skype usually displays.  To set this, login to your Skype account and click on Caller ID.

I’ll be putting together a future post on the complete phone setup that I have in Buenos Aires, which includes a combination of Google Voice, MagicJack, Vonage and Skype. Stay tuned…