Calling Services

I recently talked about Voice over IP (VoIP) and how it could save you money by routing your calls over the Internet but unfortunately such a service isn’t always suitable for most users as although the sound quality is improving and the service becoming easier to set up it still isn’t quite as simple as just picking up the phone.

Financially I am hit quite hard by having a girlfriend that lives in the Republic of Ireland and although I am certainly not complaining I must say that calls and texts to Southern Ireland using non VoIP services are not quite as cheap as I would have liked.Some time back I discovered a company called Alpha Telecom which I thought I would introduce to you as they provide a few products and services that may help you out if for whatever reason you find yourself having to make overseas calls.

The first thing we should look at is their phone service which allows you to call Internationally at prices which are most likely much lower than your standard telephone provider - You dial the access number provided and then simply enter the number that you wish to dial and the service connects you instantly.In my case phoning an Irish mobile went from £1.50 per minute for me to just 18p per minute which is obviously a fairly significant saving.Check out where you can select the country you wish to call from a drop down list to see appropriate prices.Phone accounts can be instantly opened online with no contract and you get £5 of free calls when you first subscribe to the service. You can use any phone to call this service however if you use one that isn’t registered on your Alpha account then you will have to specify a PIN number so that unauthorised users can’t make calls from your account.

I have also recently discovered another part of the service called Web2SMS which allows you to type text into your browser and have it sent to a mobile phone anywhere in the world.If you have a friend who lives in Africa for example you can text him for 5p which is half the price most of us pay for texting friends in the UK from our mobiles.Some users may simply find it easier to type out a text message that they wish to send on their computers and some, like myself, will just appreciate the money it saves them.

There are a number of Internet only features such as the ability to send free E-cards, a free e-mail service and their own version of MSN Messenger but to be honest with you these aren’t really anything worth writing home about.

There are no monthly charges for any of the basic packages listed above but credit has to be added to the account in advance by either credit/debit card or direct debit.As the account can be managed entirely online this is extremely easy to do and with the inbuilt reporting tools it is easy to see what services you are spending your money on.Those of you who call internationally even once in a while could possibly benefit from going to but of course if anyone knows any cheaper services available out there then please do let me know!

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.