Free calling/ communication options for those who are on a tight or fixed budget. There are some business plans available as well as family packages.
First, here are some rates and my reasoning for using these great services!
Skype Rates per Minute in USD $
Helsinki Finland $0.031
Japan (mobile) $0.154
New Zealand $0.021
New Zealand (mobile) $0.310
North American Rates for Skype are Free until the end of 2006.(11/24/06)
Free rates apply to registered Jajah users (both caller and call recipient)
The low rates apply when there is at least 1 unregistered Skype user and compare to posted the Skype rates I listed above.
Registration does not change the Phone provider.
This service, as I have experienced it is independent of your cell phone service provider.
You might ask, "Then why use Jajah?".
For international calls especially, I like to receive calls on my mobile phone.
However, my mobile company charges me $1.32 to $1.50 a minute for calls.
I got sick of having to go to the convenience stores to buy international calling cards
or punching in over 26 numbers and waiting to make calling card calls.
Jajah is a solution for me to the simplicity. My rates through Jajah are approximately 1/10th of what I would pay to my cell phone carrier.
I can talk for reasonable amounts of time and send text messages at a better rate!
Read below for a variety of common options for reduced cost communication!!!
1: Phone to Phone calling (minimal use of computer)
No Download needed. Online registration required. Free calling from phone to phone in your Zone.
www.jajah.com - Domestic and International Phone calls & Text Messaging.
Jajah is great for the person who wants to make calls without all the computer gear; ie, video cam and headset. You don't necessarily need your computer after registration, but you do need your own phone and the person you're calling needs to have a phone. You talk through your phone at a reduced or free rate compared to some traditional calling plans. The rate is sometimes 1/10th of the normal cost of International overseas calling rates! It is very low cost compared to packaged International calling rates from your landline. (see rates here)
Mobile phone to Mobile phone or Phone
www.jajah.com - Mobile to Mobile free calling. New! Check out the required Mobile phone to use this Jajah feature and use of a computer to register your number with Jajah. It seems you must still have a regular calling plan; though if you're calling out of the country this feature can be very useful. Some mobile plans charge up to $1.50/ minute of air time to Outside countries. Jajah can make those calls more affordable.
Free downloads, free communication, Computer to computer
www.imvu.com - for gamers and kids mostly. - chat in 3D. No real live video.
IMVU requires time, definately. It is a constructed world in 3D much like the old moos and muds. There are many choices for your character and settings. You must have sufficient memory to run this one too - though most computers today will do. And a tolerance for teenage antics including pulling wedgies on your character.
I have found few adults hanging out on this site. But an interesting crowd none the less. IMVU is in 3D chat style and allows the user to participate in simulated real world settings, purchase clothes to dress your 3D character, and purchase hotel rooms and such for your characters to hook up in the online fantasy land. The chatters or users are real people. Includes a web page that can be decorated. 3D snapshots of people/ characters you meet to be added to your website. etc.
Computer to computer or Computer to Phone
www.skype.com - Video, Computer to Phone, Chat, send files - Requires download
Skype has a calling option to call from your computer to a landline or other phone numer. However, you must purchase Skype credit in order to do this. There is a small fee to call internationally to a land line. It is not a substitute for calling out for emergencies to 911. You cannot send files on a call to a landline. Nor can you see the person you are calling.
Chat & video conference free internationally from computer to computer; much like MSN Messenger or Yahoo Instant Messanger. There is a video option for video calls/ chat.
File transfers can occur without having a Yahoo or MSN related email address to manage additionally.
You can make calls to phones anyplace in the world ( for a small fee - *for free and the best rates I've found: try looking at Jajah for free calling to land lines and mobile phones).
MSN Messenger - PC to Phone, Video, Chat, Games, email, send files
Sign up for an email account with Hotmail for your friends to contact you. Though, it is not the only email option, it is part of setting up your messenger user account. You can set up with a video camera and headset on your computer to have a direct conversation and see the person who you're speaking with in Real time.
There are newer features from the old messenger to call internationally and locally to mobile and landlines. Now with a feature making it compatible with YIM or Yahoo Instant Messenger buddies!
http://messenger.yahoo.com/ - PC to Phone, Video, Chat, Games, email, send files
A great way to communicate and send files, start by setting up a free Yahoo account. You can set up with a video camera and headset on your computer to have a direct conversation and see the person who you're speaking with in Real time. There is PC to phone calling for approximately 1 cent per minute. It's nearly 75% more expensive than using Jajah. And, I have to compare the rates with Skype.