Friday, April 20, 2007

Tpad to involuntarily offer free phone calls worldwide?

It seems that the fellows at Tpad are eager to open the telecommunications industry's Pandora's box a little bit more. If they really follow this trail, it will be one step more to a worldwide breakdown of phone call margins. A sickness that's highly contagious from VoIP companies to incumbent carries to even mobile operators. I sometimes feel like an epidemic doctor and today I found another sign of deterioriation at the patient: Tpad, which offers local break in numbers for its VoIP services in many countries, wants use toll free numbers now.
Do you know what that means?
Free phone calls from nearly every country to every country!
Jajah, Rebtel, Truphone, Vonage and the like can go home then. And Tpad pays the phone bill. No need for a computer, a Wifi phone or an ATA. Just plain 0800 numbers that everyone can call for free from his landline or cell phone. Even people who don't have a computer or technical skills can make their calls for free.

The setup is quite easy. Just define your Tpad account as incoming number in a hosted PBX, which you can get for free at Or you install the free Asterisk in your webspace. Unfortunately my preferred company Voxalot doesn't provide the necessary features yet, but they are working on it.

For the outgoing calls I recommend Voipstunt, which offers free calls to 40 countries, or another company of their mothership Betamax. After that you can virtually throw away your computer, ATA, Wifi phone or whatever you have used for VoIP. Just call the toll free Tpad number of your country, then dial your Tpad account number, your PBX calltrough PIN and the number you want to call. The call enters on the free Tpad number and will be connected for free via Voipstunt.

Well, I admit that this seems a lot of numbers to dial. But you can automatize it by installing the mobile callthrough manager from Runningmobile on your cell phone. Just tell the program once your account numbers and then start making your phone calls. The cell phone behaves as always, only that it dials in the background some more numbers, which you don't notice.

You can even share this free service with your friends. Just tell them which toll free number they have to dial and how it works! Of course you should setup some rules in your PBX to prevent that someone calls a country that isn't free. I for instance have as of today 248 freedays in my Voipstunt account. This means 248 days of free calls to any regular landline in: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong (+mobile), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico (+mobile), Russian Federation, Singapore (+mobile), South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States (+mobile). And the rest of the world they offer quite cheap.

If that's not enough and you also want to do free calls to mobile phones then install Tpad as incoming number in a PBX with free calls to cell phones, such as 4S newcom's. They can equip their IP PBX with SIM cards of all mobile phone providers of your country. Of course with flat rate tariffs, so that you can call all mobile phones for free.

In fact the described free calling service is in itself nothing new. Vonage also offers similar toll free numbers, but only for subscribers of their service, which costs 25 dollars a month. Tpad's accounts are free.

Reviewing this scheme I start to doubt that Tpad will really implement these toll free numbers. I understand why they are planning it: So that people can use Tpad for their calls without even having a computer. Tpad is very strong in countries like Pakistan and India where many poor people live. The company counts on that these clients will use Tpad also for the outgoing calls to the PSTN. And therefore they sponsor the toll free number.

But that's not necessary if you know to creatively use the SIP standard.


  1. Hi Markus
    Thats a lot of work for even the average guy, whilst I always enjoy your posts I find that they always involve a lot of work

  2. Well, so maybe I am no lazy guy.


  3. Hi Markus,

    i am from pakistan. it is not that so easy for me to configure the pbxes and its extention trunk e.t.c can you please help me and make a Pattern for me
    my email address is


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