Packet8 joins the mobile minute stealers

The long-time VoIP phone service provider Packet8 just threw its hat into the cellular minute-stealing arena with its new service, MobileTalk. But before we can share about MobileTalk, it would be helpful to know what minute-stealing is. The idea is simple: use your phone's IP data service to transport costly long distance calls using Voice over IP instead of the traditional way--through the cell carrier's grossly expensive long distance interconnects.

MobileTalk is a software download that runs on a variety of phones. Like its contemporaries TalkPlus, Gizmo for Mobile, and Jajah, MobileTalk can be sent directly to your phone via a media message when you sign up for the service. Packet8 gets ten bucks when you sign up, ten bucks every month you stay signed up, and 2 - 6 cents per minute for every call you place. If you make a lot of calls across the pond, that *should* save you a fair amount of dough.

Of course, there's no value-add for existing Packet8 customers (like, say, a discount), and Packet8 still hasn't fixed the original set of problems with its service--for example, their soft phone (a PC program to let you make phone calls) still can't share a phone number with another Packet8 phone line. But if you make a ton of international calls on your wireless and you want the benefit of a single bill from your phone provider, MobileTalk is the way to go.

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