Tesco gets into VoIP

Internet telephony pioneers like Skype have always known that VoIP was going to be big bucks, but now there’s proof – supermarket giant Tesco has made

Internet telephony pioneers like Skype have always known that VoIP was going to be big bucks, but now there’s proof – supermarket giant Tesco has made a vulture-like swoop and launched its own all-in-one service.

The new service, launched in tandem with Aussie internet company Freshtel, will supply you with a phone handset to plug into your PC and a phone number, which you can keep for life.  

This sets it up for a face-off with services from Google Talk and Skype, which also let you phone through your PC, although the latter recently impressed us at CES with the launch of its first free roaming Wi-Fi phone (story here).

The PAYG Tesco service offers free calls to other Tesco internet users, along with 2p a minute calls to UK and international landlines, including such far-flung destinations as Canada and Australia. Calls to mobiles will set you back a comparatively extortionate 10p a minute at any time and on any network.

You can pick up a handset now for £20 from 350 Tesco stores across the country or online – the pack includes everything you need for installation plus £5 of free calls. Go to www.tesco.com for more on its new VoIP venture.