I make regular international calls to both land lines and cell phones. Additionally I heavily use video conference calls with often five or more participants. This combination seemed to make it worth an experiment with a one year Skype Premium subscription. I was well aware of the Google Hangout alternative at the time, but I had not yet ran into many business people using a Google account..

Some context

I think it is relevant to know that I have a business internet connection with a bandwidth of 150 Mb/s downstream and 15 Mb/s upstream. I have been using this internet service for many years now and seldom found my internet connection to be the cause of trouble. For those occasions where my connection was the problem, I have an SLA that assures it gets fixed without hours.

About video conferencing

I can be pretty direct about this. Besides that Skype Premium claims that you can have video calls up to five people I can’t say it ever worked properly. This was the biggest disappointment right from the start. It is clear that a good video call depends on the quality of the connection of all participants, but I did not expect it not to work at all most of the time. Even when those with a poor connection limit the call to just voice, it did not work properly for me.

Phone calls

Phone calls to any of the countries, even cell phone calls, work fine. Even calls to India that regularly can be a challenge have always worked out fine for me.

The final verdict

This won’t be a surprise. The answer is: “No”. I have cancelled my subscription during the subscription period. Besides that I have tried to convince business people to use Google Hangout with reasonable success. Google Hangout is also not perfect, but if you rely on video conferencing for collaboration like I do, it is a much much better alternative to Skype Premium. And the best thing is, it is for free!

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