Mobile operators usually charge ridiculously high rates for international calls.
If you have a live mobile internet connection you have plenty of VoIP options available, like Nimbuzz, fring, Talkonaut, and Skype Lite. But what if your mobile internet connection is too slow, your mobile operator doesn't allow VoIP on its GPRS or 3G network, or there's no Wi-Fi available here and now?
Then you route your international call through a local number. There are plenty of companies that offer free or cheap international calls through a local number, and the price of a local call plus the charge for an international call from anyone but your mobile operator often works out a lot cheaper than a direct international call with your mobile operator.
One of the companies that offers cheap international calls through local numbers is Betamax, which runs voipcheap.com, voipbuster.com, and other cheap VoIP services which can be accessed through a local number.
You can program the local access number into the contacts list of your phone, but there's another way to route your international mobile calls through a mobile number: LowCaller.
LowCaller runs in the background on your phone. When you make an outbound call, it can route the call through a local number. This doesn't always work out cheaper (it doesn't make sense to route local calls through LowCaller), so make sure you configure the program to ask you whether to route the call or not.
Unfortunately the list of local access numbers is limited. They're only available in Austria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, and the UK. There may be local access numbers from other companies that are not owned by Betamax, but because LowCaller doesn't work with the competition its usefulness is way less than it could be.
Fortunately there's Mobile Calling Card Dialer. This program is intended for calling cards, but you can use it with any service that routes calls through a (local) phone number, so it's much more flexible than LowCaller.
• Mobile Calling Card Dialer, an alternative to LowCaller
Monday, 18 May 2009