Tuesday, July 04, 2006

cheap phone calls when you're abroad


The concept of communication, for most people over 40, tends to stop at phone calls. And at times, it really does. I mean - admit it - chatting on MSN or an email isn't anything near a phone call when you need to interact. Of course there's the video conference thingie - but that's a bit too intrusive if you know what I mean. Apart from the setup costs - you have another issue called privacy. For example - did you ever pick up a call while you're in your underwear? I do it on a daily basis.

So I decided to check out how mobile phone "roaming" would work. I did what anyone else would do - call Vodafone Malta customer care. They were very helpful - providing me with information on how to make a connection from Japanese Vodafone to Maltese phone numbers and so on. Basically it works by making use of the callback feature.
So you dial *121* then the number (in the case of maltese numbers it starts with 00356 the international calling code) followed by a #. Then you get disconnected and you wait for your mobile phone to start ringing. If you decide to answer the call, it should then (hopefully) connect you to the other party.

Then the customer care support went on to tell me about the tariffs:
That is expensive.

A few questions later, I found out that I'll need a 3G phone even though Vodafone Japan says that it supports GSM. *sigh* It's starting to sound too complicated. I don't have that.

So I've been reading about Skype and Gizmo and all that.A bit of price comparison:
Comparing phonecall prices
service providerlandline call to maltamobile call to maltalandline call to japanmobile call to japan
SkypeOutlm0.07lm0.09lm0.01lm0.06
Gizmolm0.09lm0.09
lm0.015lm0.07

At this stage, I guess I know what I want to use ;) Besides, everyone's quite familiar with Skype. Of course, a laptop is not as handy as a mobile. The name says it all. So 10 Euros later (actually 11.50), and I'm testing it out. Sounds good - even literally - considering everything.
So .. what about these funky Windows mobile devices with wifi? Adding that to the "wanted" list.

Comments:
just one question ... Why do you have a photo of earphones doing a telephone doggy style? .. nice wide angle shot though :)
 
*poke*
 
hey
now i know who to come to to set this up for me...
 
hello mr anonymous - to be honest i didn't think about it much. maybe it was subconscious ;)
 
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