Savvy Saver Magazine
Savvy Saver Magazine

Rebtel vs Skype

Rebtel vs Skype
August 20, 2013
By Chris Perrett
With over 7 million UK residents going abroad each August alone, this represents a significant proportion of us choosing to take a break out of the country. It also means that for families to keep in touch, more international calls are being made and these can be very costly indeed. We’ve all seen the horror stories in the papers of people running up mobile bills into the thousands from data roaming charges, with calls also contributing to these hefty bills. With developments in technology, it’s now possible to cut the cost not just significantly, but drastically. These developments focus around something called VoIP (Voice over IP), which essentially transmits voice calls as data over the Internet rather than over traditional networks. Skype was the first to bring this to mass market, but Rebtel is now snapping at it’s heals. 

Why focus on Rebtel Vs Skype?

Although there are quite a few players in the market, Rebtel and Skype are the two largest and offer fairly similar services. Both provide a similar array of apps and call charge plans and if you are new to VoIP, we’d recommend using one of the two to start off with.

How do Skype and Rebtel work?

To get started on either service you’ll need to create a free account so you can test it before upgrading to any paid-for services. You can then download the application either on to a PC or mobile device, with apps supported both for Android and iOS. After logging in, you can then search for other users of the same service, so for example connect with friends and family that use Rebtel, if you’ve downloaded the Rebtel app. 
Making calls between users if free (which is great) but you can’t call for free between the two services. This means you need to make sure you sign up to the service that most of your network is using, or convince them to make the switch. The only charges that are applicable are for data roaming, so make sure you use it while connected to a Wi-Fi service. This makes both perfect for making international calls while you’re on holiday, rather than just making international calls outside of the UK. You can feel smug while you’re hooked up to your hotel Wi-Fi and making a calls thousands of miles home for free, while someone else next to you is spending over £1 a minute and trying to condense their news down as much as possible.
International calls are also cheap if you need to call a landline or mobile if the person you’re trying to reach doesn’t use either service and will save you a lot compared to just calling direct from your mobile.

How Rebtel & Skype stack up against each other

Both Rebtel and Skype are incredibly simple to use, with beautifully designed apps which make calling an absolute doddle. It’s like using your standard keypad, but within an app and there’s no need to connect up any additional headphones or microphones. Many believe the call quality is better with Rebtel, so it’s worth doing a direct comparison test before you go on holiday to check it for yourself. Based on our tests, it was hard to see any noticeable difference, although like with all technology, calls can be interrupted with Internet issues. VoIP has come a long way over the last 10 years and you won’t notice a huge difference between using a standard mobile or landline connection, which really make them the smart choice for making cheap international calls. So with this, the comparison really comes down to the call charges.

Rebtel Vs Skype International Call Charges

We’ve looked at some of the most popular destinations and the call charges back to the UK on both services. Please note some may be subject to connection charges which are worth looking at before you may a call and if you plan on using the service a lot, it may be cheaper to take out a specific monthly call package plan.
Calling a UK landline from Spain:
Skype: 1.6p per minute
Rebtel: 0.79p per minute 
Calling a UK landline from the USA:
Skype: 1.6p per minute
Rebtel: 0.79p per minute 
Calling a UK landline from Australia:
Skype: 1.6p per minute
Rebtel: 0.79p per minute 
As you’ll notice from the above, all have standard rates for calling a UK landline from major international destinations, so don’t tend to vary based on how far away you’re travelling. This is especially good news for anyone travelling thousands of miles across to the other side of the world!
We’ve also looked at the cost of calling a UK mobile abroad when you calling from the UK, in case need to call someone abroad who doesn’t have Skype or Rebtel. Please note that the recipient will be subject to network charges for roaming calls and so they will have be charged for the call. 
Calling a mobile in Spain from the UK:
Skype: 17.7p per minute
Rebtel: 15.9p per minute
Calling a mobile in the USA from the UK:
Skype: Not provided, but package from £4.59 per month
Rebtel: 0.99p per minute
Calling a mobile in Australia from the UK:
Skype: 7.6p per minute
Rebtel: 5.6p per minute
From the rates above it’s clear that there are more differences when calling mobiles abroad using Skype or Rebtel from the UK, than there is for using the services while you’re actually abroad. 

Which one is best?

In all tests for our Rebtel Vs Skype comparison on call charges, Rebtel overwhelmingly won with consistently cheaper international call rates. In cases of calling back home from abroad, Rebtel was 50% cheaper than Skype, although when calling from the UK, the prices were more aligned. We’d certainly recommended trying both to see which is right for your needs, but if you’re looking to call home while you’re on holiday, you’ll save considerable more by using the Rebtel app. 

Leave a comment using Facebook