I started to call my relatives in Laos starting in 2003 on a regular basis. It was quite expensive with the regular phone rates with AT&T, Sprint, and later South Western Bell when international service became available. When I came here calling Laos was like 60 Euro cents per minute with special deal from Tele2 and that can add up real fast.
I was so happy when I found out about Skype and started to use the service for Laos in 2006. Back then it was like 19 Euro cents per minute, plus tax. Calling to the US was about 3 or 4 Euro cents. I thought I was saving big time but when I came back from Laos and started to call Pakse and Vientiane so much I was spending too much money on phone calls (more than 200 dollars per month) and had to watch my budget.
I later found out about Voipbuster and started to use the service. The sound quality was pretty much the same with Skype but the calling rate was like 3 Euro cents per minute to land line. For calling to mobile phone it was 4 Euro cent per minute. I thought I found a great deal but to my surprise, Voipcheap which is from the same company is even better! Now I can call Laos for 2 Euro cents per minute to land line and for 4 Euro cents per minute to mobile phone.
If you have relatives in Laos and want to save money without having to buy phone cards and want to make calls from your computer, then I would suggest using VoipCheap. You will be able to call several countries for free when you buy credit, starting with 10 Euros. For those of you that are from the US, then there is no extra tax added to the cost of buying phone credit. Depending on where you are living, you might have added tax when buying credit, this is based on your country, not the phone company itself.
With Voidcheap, for 50 Euros I can last an entire month. That is so much better than spending almost 300 dollars a month calling Laos using Skype. Maybe I just talk too much. 🙂