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Johanne Torres[December 6, 2004]

Start-Up Offers Unlimited Cellular Calling for $9.99

BY JOHANNE TORRES


I know it sounds shocking, but Xcelis says it’s now offering unlimited cellular calling for $9.99 a month. The company states that its service works with most wireless carriers in the United States. The innovative service allows you to place unlimited calls to any number in the United States and Canada from your cellular phone absolutely FREE without using any of your plan minutes (however, international calls are not allowed). Xcelis’ offering caught my attention, and I just knew the service had to have VoIP ( define - news - alert) in the mix somewhere.


Indeed, the company uses VoIP to offer their service. Xcelis is now offering a free 7-day trial. You can sign up for the trial, and within 24 to 48 hours, you will be able to begin your free calling spree. During the free trial period, all calls will be limited to 15 minutes.

How does it work, you ask?

It seems pretty easy, actually. From your mobile phone, place a call to a special designated telephone number for your specific wireless carrier. You will then hear a dial tone on your mobile phone. Follow by dialing 1, area code and the number of the party you want to call (any number in US or Canada). The party you are calling does not need to have this service for the phone call to terminate. Your cellular call will now be routed over the Internet using VoIP or over the public landline telephone network. Your call gets connected, and your conversation begins.

To use this service you must make sure that you have unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling activated on your wireless service calling plan. You can get a list from Xcelis of mobile carriers that are compatible with their service. Depending on your particular calling plan, you might already have mobile-to-mobile calling enabled. However, Xcelis requires that you confirm that unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling is activated for your wireless service calling plan with your wireless service provider. When you place a call using the Xcelis service, you are making a mobile-to-mobile call, which is free, however the technology allows that call to be routed over the Internet or landline telephone network.

The mobile-to-mobile model has become very popular with cellular phone carriers. The carriers let you call other phones in the same network for free unlimited minutes. This feature is normally included in their wireless calling plans. Depending on your calling plan, you may have to pay an additional fee to add this feature to your account.

You must use the service from the phone(s) that are associated with the phone number(s) that you provide Xcelis when you sign up. You can register up to 3 phone numbers when you sign up for the service. Currently, the service is only for placing outgoing cellular calls. The company says its service does not interfere with any of your cell phone functions or features of your wireless service plan.

If you have tried this new service, please let us know how it worked for you at our forum!

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

 

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