Insight Into Free Conference Call Services

Stranger-in-a-Strange-Land-bookcover In the novel “Stranger in a Strange Land” the legendary science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once wrote, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” This came immediately to mind when I stumbled upon Fee Fighters where I found a post that was a nice explanation of how free conference calling services work.

The author quite rightly points out that Google Voice and Vonage will not place calls to the rural rate centers with the exorbitantly high termination costs that make the free conference service possible.

My preferred ITSP, OnSIP by Junction Networks, charges a uniform per-minute rate for calls to most rates centers in North America and Western Europe. However, when it comes to those rate centers in rural areas that host free conference services their plan changes. If we call such services they charge us “the true market rate” which can be up to 20x the normal rate. They made this abundantly clear back in 2009 when the policy was enacted.

We find no fault with OnSIP and their policy in this regard. In fact, we decided that we saw value in adding an optional private conference bridge to our OnSIP account, even though it costs us $20/month.

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39 Free Soft Phones

Two-Soft-phones-200 copyMatt Riddell of VentureVoIP is always informative and a great read. This morning I see that he has posted an article listing 39 Free Soft Phones. What a great resource! He goes so far as to only list those that don’t require some sort of registration to download. Best of all he clearly indicates platform support for each program.

My two favorites, Counterpath’s X-Lite and PhonerLite, made the list. PhonerLite is notable for being one of the few with support for the G.722 wideband codec. (Am I not some sort of one-note instrument?)

Google Voice & Why Free Makes Me Nervous

GoogleVoiceLogoI’m an early adopter and I admit that freely. I opened a Grand Central account early its history, converted that to Google Voice when the time came, and have generally been impressed with the service. But I don’t use it much. I truly don’t feel that I can afford to use it for a variety for reasons.

The internet has created this crazy new paradigm of free services. The list is lengthy; Google apps, Twitter, Hotmail, Facebook, Blogger, Yahoo Pipes, Posterous, Gmail & WordPress.com are just a few. Free services are literally everywhere these days, like manna from heaven.

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What Would You Do With Ten Free UK DIDs?!

During last weeks VUC call someone mentioned that there was a new service called UKDDI offering free DIDs in the UK.  They offer ten free numbers from locations all around the UK, where each can be mapped to a SIP URI.

It took a couple of minutes for the utility of this to really sink in. Given that I have a factory full of coworkers in the UK, and I’ll be traveling there this coming week there just has to be something useful that I can accomplish with such a resource.

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