Phone Home

New phone cards make every call local.
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Entrepreneur magazine, October 1999

As if traveling overseas on business weren't expensive enough, those hotel phone bills for calling home can shock even the most experienced travelers. Calling cards reduce the sting because they don't charge access fees like hotels do, but they still charge high international rates. Call-back cards, however, challenge conventional international-calling wisdom.

With call-back cards, you first dial a local number (obtained before your trip) in the city where you're doing business. You're then connected to a computerized phone network, which links you to a computer in the United States and sends the call to its final destination as if it were a local call. KallBack (http://www.kallback.com)and IDT, or International Discount Telecommunications Corp. (http://www.idt.net), are two companies that offer these cards. And there's a bonus: IDT's card is pre-paid, so you can budget for your phone needs before leaving home.

Gene Koprowski has covered the tech industry for 10 years and writes a monthly computing column for "The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition." Contact him at 74203.1677@compuserve.com

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