Calling All Countries

Freedom Rings

Ditch your long-distance charges with the Internet.

Internet telephony is hotter than ever and it's not hard to see why: Domestic long-distance phone charges can be as low as 5 cents per minute using Internet phone carriers.

But now, even low-priced carriers face stiff competition, and entrepreneurs looking to save money are reaping the benefits. San Jose, California-based InnoMedia is offering a new product, called InfoTalk, that lets you make free long-distance calls via the Internet. (Local phone charges still apply.)

To install, just insert InfoTalk into the phone jack and connect the phone cable to your wall outlet; then dial the desired number, and the device handles the rest. Voice quality is generally good, although it varies depending on Internet traffic volume.

For now, the only catch is that the party you're calling must have the InfoTalk device, too. However, InnoMedia hopes to solve that problem soon. The $215 InfoTalk device is sold at and at consumer electronics retailer Fry's.

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This article was originally published in the June 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Calling All Countries.

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