n00b long distance calls questions

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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothbox:
    I thought you were implying that the costs of making local calls from the phone was expensive
    Compared to most packages they are. Generally people here pay about HK$0.1/min for airtime (although as noted they tend to buy bundles of more than they are likey to use - e.g. a $100 package including 1000 mins).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mothbox:
    What are the best non-skype packages for calling back to the UK? Probably worth comparing the costs, as could just buy a sim rather than the skype phone.
    See post #2 above - I wrote on this at some length. If you're going to be here for 12 months or more thaen I would say a postpaid package would be the best way to get the SIM, plus a separate IDD service (or two).

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothbox:
    I need to figure out the best method before I leave as I will have to set up call forwarding or skype on my old UK phone which is differcult to do once roaming.
    I really wouldn't recommend call forwarding a UK mobile to Hong Kong! You are liable to get an enormous bill which is largely out of your control (you'll have to start every conversation with "are you calling me on my UK number or my HK number?" and then get them to call you back on the HK one if it's the UK one). Much better would be simply to leave a voicemail on your UK number giving your new HK number.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothbox:
    The 3 package for a roaming sim: three.com.hk 3G 香港 seems cheap at $2 per min. However, I have realised that I should be thinking more of what its relative cost is in HK instead of comparing back to the UK which is what I am currently doing with everything!

    Looking at the skype phone the international calls are also $2 a min as it has this international sim included.

    Is this expensive for calls in HK?
    You're misreading that page. Those prices are for SMS! The charges for voice calls when roaming are here: http://www.three.com.hk/website/appm...10594&lang=eng

    Calls to the UK from HK should cost about HK$0.15-0.25/min to fixed lines and HK$1.50-2.50/min to UK mobiles. You will pay HK airtime in addition, but, as noted, almost everyone has a monthly subscription which includes more bundled airtime minutes than they will use.
    Last edited by PDLM; 06-09-2009 at 08:54 PM.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    I really wouldn't recommend call forwarding a UK mobile to Hong Kong! You are liable to get an enormous bill which is largely out of your control (you'll have to start every conversation with "are you calling me on my UK number or my HK number?" and then get them to call you back on the HK one if it's the UK one). Much better would be simply to leave a voicemail on your UK number giving your new HK number.
    The call forwarding is through skype, you can buy a landline number in the UK through skype and divert the UK mobile to it, so every call that comes to your UK mobile goes through the UK landline skype number, thereby connecting to you in HK under the skype network, being free. My friend does this at the moment when his parents go back to HK and it apparently works. His advice on mobile phone tarriffs however is somewhat lacking!

    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Calls to the UK from HK should cost about HK$0.15-0.25/min to fixed lines and HK$1.50-2.50/min to UK mobiles. You will pay HK airtime in addition, but, as noted, almost everyone has a monthly subscription which includes more bundled airtime minutes than they will use.
    That doesn't seem to badly priced given the majority of my calls would be through skype. Probably text a bit to the UK but not enough to spend loads of money on it.

    For some reason I feel a little reluctant to get onto a contract. I think this is because I am moving to a new country and am not sure about my rights etc. It seems that like in the UK, you get loads of free minutes for being on a contract, and usally a free phone, where as PAYG leaves you paying for your phone and paying a little bit more for making calls etc.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothbox:
    The call forwarding is through skype, you can buy a landline number in the UK through skype and divert the UK mobile to it, so every call that comes to your UK mobile goes through the UK landline skype number, thereby connecting to you in HK under the skype network, being free. My friend does this at the moment when his parents go back to HK and it apparently works. His advice on mobile phone tarriffs however is somewhat lacking!
    Well OK but you're still going to be paying for every call from your UK mobile to the UK skype number, and whoever is calling you is going to be paying the rate to call a UK mobile, which is more than it would cost them to call a HK number directly with any half-decent IDD service from the UK. I still say put your HK number on a voicemail and get people to call you direct unless you have some reason to pretend that you are actually in the UK.

  6. #16

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    The reason for keeping the UK number is because the mobile network I am on will allow free call forwarding. And most of my friends are on the same mobile network so its free inter-network calls. My parents get free local calls with the landline package so can call the local skype number for free. Even with some of my friends calling the local skype number from their mobile it will just be taken off their free minutes so people should be calling me in HK for free. Its only £30 (~360$HK) a year for the skype landline number, which is quite cheap. Thats why I was looking at buying the skype phone really.

    You can get some landline packages which let you call specific countries at local rates are even free from the UK depending on your provider, but I suspect there would be charges to call a foreign (HK) mobile.

    The only problem, as far as I can see with the skype method I was planning on setting up is that making calls from HK through skype to a non-skype or from HK straight to the UK, as you say, cost a bit more than getting an IDD plan, but I am wondering whether the extra cost may be worth it if people could contact me for free (or using free minutes). The total cost of this skype option would be about $2,000 for the year, and if I kept the phone for more than 12 months this would obviously be more cost effective.

    I would guess that this is more expensive than a IDD contract however. Either way I would still be using skype to talk to people on my computer, I suppose the only reason for wanting the access through my mobile is purely for convience more than anything else. Rather than always having to be at home to speak to friends. Either way I would still be paying for the skype landline so that non-skype friends in the UK could contact me - to call abroad from the UK can cost a bit and I apparently am simply not worth the extra cost!


  7. #17

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    So keep the skype as you propose for inbound calls, but get 0060,0080 or IDT1529 here for your outbound. There is no subscription or contract commitment for IDD service - you just pay for the calls, postpaid at the end of the month. It will be cheaper than using SkypeOut.

    The thing you didn't have in your analysis is the cost of keeping the UK mobile number...

    Last edited by PDLM; 06-09-2009 at 10:19 PM.

  8. #18

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    I am transfering my UK number to PAYG so I will just top it up once and then leave it. So that is effectively zero unless I text people from it which is probably the only use I will have for it, apart from when I visit the UK.

    I will look into these IDD packages if they are cheaper than SkypeOut as that is probably my main cost and at present my main reason for considering other options other than the skype phone.


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