Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.
The low cost of bandwidth, coupled with a competitive North American telephone market, has lead to some interesting business models becoming viable.
Take for instance this rather nifty sounding service UK 2 ME. The website allows you to enter a U.S or Canadian phone number, and it will in turn allocate you a national-rate non-geographic UK number (i.e. one in the 0870 range).
There is no charge for the service. Callers pay the normal UK national rate, and are connected through to your North American number, several thousand miles away. I haven’t tried the service yet, so I don’t know what the call quality is like. If it turns out to be good then it’ll be a very useful service, especially for travellers.
The service provider makes money because the cost of the bandwidth and the NA termination, are lower than the interconnect fee that it will receive for calls to the UK number. How long that’ll be true for I don’t know, but in the meantime it is a easy to offer service with virtually no overhead. There’s no customer service required, no billing to be done, just some automated provisioning to the network.
Email: colin at owlfish.com