Archive for February 24th, 2007

Calling home with VoIP

I checked the AT&T rates we pay when I call to my family in Greece. Even if we have a long distance carrier to help lower the prices, we still pay about $0.20 per minute plus a $0.50 connection fee. That’s expensive. It means that the cheapest call you can ever hope to make already costs you $0.70.

I now use heavily the VoIP-based service GizmoProject for my long distance calls. Gizmo gave to some of its registered users a $5 credit last year for free and while I completely ignored it in the beginning, when I got my Nokia E61 that supported VoIP calls, I decided to use Gizmo to call Greece. Their prices are considerably lower, $0.019 for Greece, and so that five dollar credit lasted three months! I am definitely going to buy some credit with Gizmo now rather than use AT&T to call abroad. Hopefully, JBQ will do the same for his calls to France too ($0.020 per minute for French landlines).

Of course, using VoIP instead of an established phone company means that you will get bad quality occassionally. I noticed that 1 out of 5 calls are sub-par quality-wise. But given the price, I am willing to put up with that. Additionally, calls to cellphones abroad are pretty expensive too ($0.25), but still, cheaper than AT&T again and without any connection fees.

BTW, if you created your Gizmo account early last year, you might have been awarded with a $5 credit too. Check out your balance after logging in here. You must use this credit within a year you see. Don’t let it go to waste.