Hey guys, it’s Thea here again at NSDesign, where we tend to love new things! New gadgets, new apps, new technology – you name it, we love it! So I was excited yesterday, when I discovered a Swedish VOIP company, REBTEL.
Now I don’t know about you, but Rebtel’s not a name I was familiar with, so I decided to investigate. a little further. It turns out they’re billing themselves as the second VOIP network after Skype. Or put simply, from their site:
“International calls for the cost of a local call from your regular mobile phone and landline – No Computers, No Downloads, No Internet Connections.”
Free calls? I’m in!!
That said, having used Skype for more than a handful of years, I was a bit tentative about it all, that is until my “early-adopter” side won, and I couldn’t resist trying it out.
I started with my best friend in San Francisco since I talk to him more than just about anyone else on the phone! It would be more-than-handy to be able to call from my Blackberry, not just when I am at home and able to use my “free calls” option from my landline. So this is what initially sells me.
So if you fancy getting in on this Cheap/Free Phone Call Action here’s what you do:
1) …start by registering yourself on the RebTel site.
2) Next, add your friend’s phone number to your contact list on REBTEL (NOTE: It assigns them a local number to you, which in my case, as it’s Glasgow, they gave me an 0141 number for each contact.)
3) Rebtel then, immediately, texts you the local number, you save it to your phone and voila you’re good to go! (They also email you the number).
4) The last step, once you’ve saved the number to you phone’s address book, is hit SEND and call your friend.
You repeat the process to add other family and friends. That bit may be time- consuming initially, but once they’re stored in your phone, you can use them again and again.
This afternoon I added another friend (also in California) and since she was up at the crack of dawn, I was able to phone her straight away from my Blackberry. The call quality was totally fine – just like any normal mobile phone call. (NOTE: The first five minute call to them is free, after that there’s a fee. A list of pricing can be found on their site – choose which country you’re calling to/from.
As I’ve just discovered them today, I am still trying to work out how it all works.
So far I’ve ascertained that they offer Cheap International Calls, FREE International calling, international SMS, and what I am presuming is an APP-to-APP feature (they do iPhone, Blackberry, Android thus far). I’ve added it to my iPod Touch which I am hoping will work similarly to the Skype-to-Skype feature and be free, but not entirely sure.
IN FOR A PENNY…
So to try out this service, I’ve added 10.00 dollars* credit to my account (*because my Paypal account is in dollars, but in the UK, your lowest credit deposit option is 7.00 pounds).
Over the next week or two I’ll test drive it, and I’ll report back to you on my experience of it.
To be honest, I am not sure it will lure me away from Skype, where I’ve been a (generally) happy Skype customer for many years, but in the spirit of loving new technology, I’ll give it a whirl.
TO SKYPE OR NOT TO SKYPE?
As I say, I already have a SKYPE phone which I am logged into nearly 24/7 – so why would I bother with this?
Well, the main advantage I see with having this Rebtel facility, is if I am ever out and about and need to speak to my dad, my sister, my aforementioned best friend and we’re not both on Skype, this means I can ring them straight up from my mobile and it won’t cost me an arm and a leg! Ringing anyone internationally from my Blackberry is not something I’d have ever considered before, but now I can and it won’t break my bank!
Oh and incidentally, through their website, I just sent a few text messages to my German friend (who is currently in Antigua) and my Australian friend and it doesn’t appeared to have cost me a penny. My balance is still $9.99.
So far so good. I’ll keep you posted.