A lot of expats want to keep in touch with family and friends in their home country. The most easiest way is the telephone but this is usually not the most economic way. Therefore a lot of them are using Skype for their telephone calls. Beside the basic costs for the internet connection, simple calls or even video calls don't have extra costs.
But what happens when one likes to call somebody without a web compatible device resp. Skype but only a landline?
Skype offers the possibility to order an online telephone number. Provided that the Skype number is already ordered in the home country, this will be a local telephone number in this country. This Skype number can be reached like any other landline in your home country and bear the same costs for the caller.
It doesn't matter where you are in the world, as long as you are logged in to Skype with your Skype number you can be reached when someone is calling you. In some countries it is also possible to buy a flatrate for landline calls to your home country without further costs for individual calls. There are special flatrates in some countries that also include calls to mobile phones.
In Germany it is possible to call mobile phones with a Skype credit. Sometimes there are problems to call special numbers with prefix 018xx, 019xx, 0800 and so on.
But it is important to order the Skype number as long as you are in your home country resp. the country you like to have your flatrate. If you are already living abroad you cannot get a local online number for your native country. In case of a planned expatriation you should bear that in mind!
This is a list of the countries that offer a Skype number (06/2015, Skype.com)
Republic of Malta
United States of America
Note: Some national providers need additional information before they can issue your number.
* Need an approval. It may take several days until the Skype number can be used.
** Skype numbers in Japan cannot be paid with a Skype credit or subscription.