This morning Illumio popped a couple more free calling companies in my personal feed. It's a sign of the times.
FreePhoneLine.Ca offers free phone numbers and service in Montreal and Toronto, to the first 5,000 subscribers to sign up. Long distance calling to most major cities in Canada is also included at no additional cost, as well as enhanced voice mail and find me follow me. The only time you ever pay these guys is to make an international long distance call. Obviously this is a major loss leader promotion, since the DIDs and terminations in Canada must be costing them something. One wonders what the 5001th subscriber will pay.
Adcalls.com is offering global, free calling. The only catch? You'll get a text message advertisement at the end of the call. Their business model is to sell calling card packages to would be advertisers, and then deliver their advertisements when users use the calling cards.
When minutes are nearly free, margins suffer. That's when the creative business models start to pop up.