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Skype launches Pro version in the UK

To date, Skype has been downloaded over 500 million times

Internet phone service Skype has launched its Skype Pro package in the UK and Europe. For a flat monthly subscription fee, Skype Pro users will be able to make free calls to UK landline numbers. A 3p connection fee is applicable for every call, Skype said.

Skype Pro costs £1.50 per month, although Skype is offering an £8 introductory fee for the first five months of a subscription. The price includes video calls, conference calls and conversations with up to 100 people using Skypecasts. Free voicemail calls are also included.

New subscribers to Skype Pro receive a discount offer of £16 on SkypeIn numbers, which allow others on mobile or fixed numbers to call a Skype user, and get £4 in credit when signing up.

Skype Pro will initially be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, as well as the UK. Other countries are to follow later this year.

Last week, Skype had been downloaded 500 million times. If that rate keeps up, Skype looks to break the billion download barrier in early 2009.