Tesco sets sights on Skype with low cost international calls app

Supermarket giant Tesco has stepped into Skype’s territory with the launch of its Calling Card app allowing users to make overseas calls for a fraction of the usual cost.

In the past, the sky-high cost of making calls overseas meant that when Uncle Brian and Auntie Maureen moved to Australia they were pretty much cast out of the family, save for the odd snail mail letter at Christmas, because no-one could afford the phone bill.

Then came Skype, the voice-over-IP service - otherwise known as 'chatting via the internet'. Skype meant the cost of making international calls came plummeting down and suddenly Auntie M was back in the loop.

And now that supermarket goliath Tesco has launched its Tesco Calling Card app, prices could be set to fall even more, great news if you have friends and family living abroad.

The app is available for iPhone and Android devices and works via a Wi-Fi connection.

It's free to download, but you'll need credit to make calls, which you can get either via the app, in-store or online.

The app can be used to call overseas from the UK, with your connection costing from just 1p per minute.

But the greater benefit may be in the savings you can make when you go on holiday.

Tesco claims that a 30-minute call from Brazil to the UK to lament/celebrate* the latest England result (*delete as applicable on Thursday) will cost just 60p via the app, somewhat cheaper than the arm and leg it would cost you from a hotel landline.

With the app, a half-hour call from your sun-lounger in Spain will cost you just 30p - but don't forget that roaming charges will apply if you don't connect to a free Wi-Fi signal when using the app.

And if you are quick off the mark, you can get your first batch of calls free, as Tesco are offering £1 credit for downloading the app and another £2 for referring friends.

Plus, app-to-app messages and calls are completely free - so there's no excuse for not telling your mum you're alive and well and about to do your first ever bungee jump!

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