Every day another company in the minute stealers category comes to light, and each one uses a different approach to make and terminate the call.
Companies like JaJah, Rebtel and Mint Telecom have been recognized here before at being leaders in the category, operating like calling cards or sophisticated ring back services, or even using VoIP as a dial around to reduce long distance rates for mobile users.
Alec today profiles Talkster, a new company just out of stealth, calling them a Voice 2.0 company because they have taken a web services approach.
I call them a "minute shifter" because it appears they are setting up the call using the data side, and facilitating the call but using their own network that they patched together from various wholesalers to bring the cost of calling down.
What this means as companies like this come to market, and you can bet more will, is the number of wholesale minutes sold will rise from the mobile carriers and VoIP carriers, including Global Crossing, Level3 and Broadwing, but also cause a shift in how new companies work with the mainline carriers too.
The 2.0 winds are blowing, and for companies like Talkster, Grand Central and others, the innovation is what will drive their future by shifting minutes, not stealing them away from the carriers.