San Diego (CA) - If you need to make an occasional phone call to another landline or mobile phone, there's a good chance that a basic service will be completely free: Sipphone, developer of the Gizmo Project, today said it would offer free calls in the U.S. and 60 countries around the globe.
The announcement follows on the heels of a similar move of Skype which recently made PC-to-landline and mobile phone calls free until the end of the year. Sipphone, however, said that it would make its offer permanent and enable users to make calls to traditional and cell phones free without time limitation. In addition, Gizmo is also offering free calls to calls to 60 other countries. However, users can only take advantage of free landline and cell phone calls to 17 countries; in the remaining 43, only landline calls are free.
To be able to make free calls via the Gizmo Project, users need to install Sipphone's softphone service and sign up for a free account. The software is available for Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Linux and the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. Similar to Skype's program, Sipphone's free service is a promotion which the company believes will attract more users for Gizmo. Spokesperson Kevin La Rue told TG Daily that the company "is picking up the tab" of falling voice calling rates around the globe.
Eventually, the company believes that basic voice calling could be completely free one day. Revenues may be generated through premium features - which today include calling to countries that are not included in the "All Calls Free" list: "We believe that users of our service will have to call occasionally someone in another country, for which the user will have to purchase 'call-out-credit'," La Rue said. Sipphone also offers a regular "Call-In" number for $12 per month or $35 per year.
Meanwhile, Skype has been heavily promoting Skype phones in a move to make its service look and feel more like a traditional phone service. The company today demonstrated Wi-Fi Phones from Belkin, Edge-Core, Netgear and SMC at a press event in Luxembourg.