Michael Graves has a post today on how to save money when making calls to or from overseas. He highlights client Junction Networks and their OnSip service which I use quite a bit when I go across the water, as well as some other neat ideas to save your money for something better than a phone call.
Here are some tips I've deployed.
1. In the UK I have a free VoIP User number from VoIPUser.org. It points to my GrandCentral number in the USA. Calls are billed at local call rates, I get to my voice mail and return the call via GrandCentral. I could just as easily do this by pointing the VoIPUser number in the UK to an inbound number PhoneFusion, CallVantage, Vonage, OnSIP or anything else that can be dialed and password authenticated which offers Find Me/Follow Me capabilities.
2. In France I have a paid for Gizmo5 number. That points to GrandCentral. Of course with DIDs and SIP connected pointing a number to any number is really easy. Get a few in countries you travel to regularly and dial in locally, avoid international long distance.
3. Pal Tony Greenberg, one of the smartest guys I know when it comes to disrupting the pricing models in telecom in the 2.0/3.0 era tipped me off to something with the iPhone. It now seems to work without a SIM. That means forget the contract, use the phone as a VoIP phone with Truphone or FRING Unfortunately, Truphone times out after 15 seconds, for now.
4. Of course there are other ways. Skype To Go and Mobivox offer a two stage calling method, as does RebTel. Truphone's Truphone Anywhere is a call through service that is a seamless way to keep costs down too. These services basically replace the calling card, but with Skype To Go and Mobivox you can reach Skype pals as well as dial out to other number.
5. For those who want less complication in their life, Global Travel roaming services like SIM4Travel and MaxRoam give you local presence numbers, cheap International Long Distance and forwarding of calls so you can leave your number behind and still be reached.
Bottom line, with a bit of imagination and insight, finding ways to save money on calls is not that hard to do...even when you travel.