Free International Calls

What is it?

This article explains how to make “free” international calls and lists providers of these services.

How does it work?

APCmag explains: “To use these services, people dial a local PSTN or mobile number from their phone, and then, once connected, dial in the number they want to call overseas, and the VoIP provider connects them.” The providers earn revenue from mobile termination rates (“the fees mobile phone companies charge other carriers to terminate calls on their networks”; also known as incoming termination fees), while the operational expense of providing the international call is largely negligible due to the use of VoIP.

While the international call is free, this option is cost-effective only if the user can call the provider either cheaply or freely. If the provider's number carries the 04 prefix, the user must therefore be able to call mobile phone numbers cheaply or freely - typically through capped mobile phone plans or plans offering untimed calls to mobiles (e.g. PennyTel's Talk Till You Drop) - in order to take advantage of this option.

Discussions on OzBargain

  1. Free International Calls from Mobiles - first forum discussion of free international calls.
  2. Make International Calls to 70 Countries ... - deal post for freedomcalls.com.au by nizi. Note: nizi claimed to have “found” the site, but was revealed as Nizi Bhandari, the CEO of freedomcalls.com.au.
  3. Make Free international Calls - deal post for makefreecalls.com.au and smartcalling.com.au by jack2. Note: these two companies are both registered to Tanisha Consulting Group and jack2 subsequently attempted to promote a third company also registered to Tanisha Consulting Group, indicating his (undisclosed) involvement and interest in these companies.
  4. Optus now charges for free mobile phone calls - forum discussion of the APCmag article, “Optus threatens customers over VoIP calls”, outlining Optus's actions to prevent customers taking advantage of free international calls. Note: As of 25 Dec 2008, Optus now considers calls to any of these services to be an international call. All calls from Optus mobiles that divert or reroute to international numbers will be charged at the full rate of $0.27 flagfall + $0.29 per minute.