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InternetCalls - The Latest VoIP
Company from Finarea SA

February 20, 2006

In their latest widely anticipated move, Swiss Telecommunications company Finarea SA have brought yet another VoIP Service Provider to the table. Currently offering free calling to landline telephones in 44 countries and free 'real' inbound telephone numbers, InternetCalls follows hot on the heels of December 2005 entrant VoIPStunt.

The InternetCalls VoIP Softphone

The Internetcalls softphone is strikingly similar to all of the other Finarea SA VoIP applications. Once downloaded and installed, users are easily able to register an account after which calls to landline telephones on the 'free' list can be made. If calls to mobile phones and/or countries not on the 'free' list are desired, calling credit must be purchased using either PayPal, Moneybookers or a major Credit Card.

The Finarea SA 'Registration Fee'

Like all of the other Finarea SA VoIP Service Providers, the InternetCalls web site states that users must pay a registration fee for free, unlimited calls to countries on the 'free list'. At time of writing, this fee stands at 10 Euro which is somewhat of a departure for Finarea SA given that the 'registration fees' usually start out at 5 Euro, then inconspicuously jumps to 10 Euro once the service gains in popularity. Note: At time of writing, calls in excess of 1 minute are possible without paying the 'registration fee'. So, even though not currently required for VoIP calls to countries on the 'free list', expect to have to pay the registration fee for calls in excess of 1 minute soon.

Free 'Real' Inbound Telephone Numbers

Like VoIPStunt, VoIPBuster & VoIPCheap, InternetCalls is currently offering free 'real' telephone numbers in the following countries:

Austria Czech Republic France
Germany Latvia Netherlands
Poland Switzerland United Kingdom

Although currently being offered for free, one should be cautious about using these telephone numbers as their primary contact. Given Finarea SA's track record, one can reasonably expect these numbers to eventually become a 'paid' subscription option and hence users who signed up under the 'free' option may find themselves having to pony up funds in order to maintain their said number.

SIP Compatibility

At present, SIPDiscount is the only Finarea SA VoIP Service Provider that officially supports SIP calling. However, SIP calls are possible with InternetCalls which opens up the possibility of using this service provider with VoIP Devices and platforms other than the Windows Operating System. Using an SIP compatible softphone, calls should be possible under Linux, Mac and the Pocket PC platforms. Just keep in mind that SIP is not officially supported by InternetCalls.

Courting the Skype Customers

In somewhat of a departure for Finarea, the InternetCalls web site openly compares rates with VoIP service provider Skype. No mention of the 'registration fee' is made nor the fact that the funds expire 120 days after their initial deposit. However, given that the proceeds of this 'registration fee' can also be used to call mobile phones and countries not on the 'free list', the deal seems quite fair.

Call Forwarding

Another new feature not previously seen on Finarea SA's other VoIP softphones is the option to forward calls to other InternetCalls users and/or telephone numbers. This feature will undoubtedly prove very useful for a large number of users.

Conclusion

Like all of the other Finarea SA VoIP Service Providers, InternetCalls offers a variety of features for little or no money down. Provided people understand that the list of 'free countries' changes (often without notice), there really is little downside to this latest service.

 
 

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