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The race to zero is gathering speed in VoIP-land. First it was Skype giving away free calls from their network to landlines and cell phones in Canada and the US. I tried it and found the quality to be very good. Skype recently extended the free outbound calls to the UK, Japan and Mexico (aleit for just one weekend each during July).
Now, Gizmo announced free outbound calls to landlines and cell phones to 60 countries! Just like you I thought there’s got to be a catch. Well there is, but it is not much of a catch. Gizmo wants to bulk up to critical mass and they are giving away this free calling capability to attract attention and active users.
The requirement is a bit vague:
No purchase necessary. The All Calls Free plan applies when both call participants are registered and active Gizmo Project users. A person is considered active when they are making phone calls with Gizmo Project on a regular basis. We reserve the right to limit call length.
In their press release though, they explain that the requirement is that you make just one Gizmo to Gizmo call before you can make free outbound calls. And don’t get scared away by the last condition. Skype also has that. It is a standard clause to protect them but it is almost never enforced unless you abuse their system on a massive scale.
I have to hand it to Gizmo. This is a brilliant strategy that will quickly build up their base. They really needed something like this since offering a better product and service wasn’t enough to unseat the well entrenched players like Skype. And don’t forget, Skype’s offer of outgoing calls ends at the end of this year. Gizmo’s doesn’t have a termination date.
You may think this is a gimmick from a wanna be VoIP company but Gizmo is anything but. I’ve known about them for a while and eventhough I prefer it over Skype I’ve been stymied because others simply have not even heard of it. This is baffling since Gizmo has tonnes more features: call in numbers in the US and England, up to 99 person conference calls, one click call recording, voice mail, and it is built on open source SIP technology. Gizmo also offers a really cool feature which uses Google Maps to show where the other person is on the globe.
Go ahead and download Gizmo and take it for a spin - and then be sure to tell your friends about it too. And then think about shorting some Vonage. By now, all their executives must be curled up in the fetal position under their desks.
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