Recently found this really cool site called Stanaphone.com. They have their own VOIP network, and are offering 100 free minutes of calls to international destinations per month for everyone who signs up for a free account.
Quoted from the website:
What is StanaPhone?
StanaPhone is the first free and extremely easy to use internet telephone with real US phone numbers. It allows you to call and receive calls from regular home and mobile phones as well as place free calls to and receive them from any StanaPhone number, regardless of its location. All incoming calls to StanaPhone are free. Beta version of StanaPhone is free to download and free to use. It does not require any special computer knowledge to make it work. All you have to do is download our free software and sign up for a free StanaPhone number.
so basically U gotta download their small easy to use software phone and create a free account, when i did it, u didnt need to give credit card details, though this might have changed, as they recently changed their system. The sign up process was really quick and installation of the software is really easy too.
u get $2.00 free calling credit every 30 days, and can use that to call a huge list of countries ( including the UK! ) (this is pc to phone, not pc to pc, though u can use it to call pc 2 pc too)
Its even possible to call mobile phones using the free credits, though I think its much more expensive than the flat 2 cents rate for calling other countries and "normal phones" and of course as usual with VOIP phones, you can call other VOIP phones for free anyway, and you can also use it to call Freephone numbers in other countries and i presume calls to freephone numbers are not taken off your call allowance, will have to check this out.
the companys website is http://www.stanaphone.com
and theres more info on their about page here http://stanaphone.com/whatsstana/ including the list of countries you can call.
when your free credit runs out for the month, its only 2 cents a minute to call anywhere in the world!
you also get a free US "regular phone number" for free, (you can choose what area code you want) so people in the U.S can call u for the price of a local call!
and even though its a U.S company, you can sign up for an account from any country :)
Apparently its possible to set up X-Lite the "softphone" to use multiple VOIP services, at the same time, havent actually got this to work myself, but ive been told u could have mysipphone, stanahone and freeworlddialup all working on a single phone. Sounds cool! :D
*UPDATE* 06/10/2004 They have decreased the free credit to $0.20 Oh well, its still 10 free calling minutes! :)
*Further Update* 29/10/2004 You now only get $0.10 of free credit, so its just 5 free minutes...
Just found another cool VOIP company sipphone.com they are offering five free 1 minute international calls per day through their VOIP network.
Read more about it here http://sipphone.com/5free1/
Though i've signed up for an account I havent actually tried it out yet, as im just about to go out, but when i get back im definitely gonna give it a go :)
BT know this and they are planning on converting all their phone systems to VOIP (Voice Over IP).
Dont get left behind, download a VOIP softphone such as X-Lite now and try it out! :) Its fun :) You can use it to dial freephone numbers in america, japan, holland and supposedly the uk (though i havent managed to get this to work yet) Have sucessfully called Japan though :) There is also beta support for calling freephone French numbers.
In theory if you want to call a "normal" phone you can connect to a phone service provider/calling card provider on their freephone number then dial out from that to the number you require, for cheap calling rates. Though Im sure there are other ways of doing it.
You can get an easy to setup and use VOIP "softphone" called X-Lite, useable with the FreeWorldDialup (FWD) network here:
BT have just launched a cool new product called BT Communicator, its an application that lets you use your pc like it was a phone, i.e you can make and receive calls as if it was a normal phone, and as an incentive to sign up they are giving away one months worth of free national and local calls through the service :)
Havent actually tried the service out yet, gonna look thru the T+Cs to see if theres any catch, so far havent seen anything. Looks like a good offer to me
One drawback is the minimum pc spec required is a 700mhz windows machine. My aging 500mhz pc might struggle to get it to run. They say it should still work on slower machines, though the call quality might suffer..
Heres a link to their webpage with info on how to signup and download the program: http://tinyurl.com/6tgkp