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CallArc all set to unveil unlimited FREE international phone calls all over the world [Review]

By Alok Saboo on September 20th, 2010

CallARC’s plan to offer free international calls seemed like a dream come true. In fact it was just too good to be true. Lot of people questioned the ability of CallArc to offer free calls all over the world. The delay in the proposed launch of CallArc only fuelled speculation that CallArc will never be able to deliver on its promises. This article will put to rest all those speculations, as CallArc is on track (although behind schedule) to offer “free international phone calls”. I have been using the beta product for over two weeks now (thanks to Francis Assif for providing the beta access) and have all the inside scoop for you.

CallArc - Unlimited FREE International calls

CallArc Free Calling Features

As promised, CallArc provides free calls to almost all the countries. Like some other free calling services, CallArc is ad-supported. CallArc has also tied up with a major upcoming telecom carrier to provide its services.

Here’s how it works.

CallArc uses local access numbers to offer its services. It has access numbers in over 40 countries. Users in these countries can call the local access number and reach their destinations. If your destination is one of these 40 countries, a call back number will be generated for the other party. When your friend picks up the call, you can ask your friend to call back on the local number generated for him (the same will be displayed on the caller-ID). Then you can talk for as long as you want for FREE. This works similar to Rebtel’s free call offer.

CallArc call back numbers

However, if you do not to use the callback feature or your destination is not one of the countries where CallArc has local numbers, you can still make free calls as long as there are advertisers to support your call. You can earn advertising credits by listening to ads or viewing them on the website. Due to strong demand in the United States and Europe, users from these places can be assured of unlimited quality calls.

Finally, if you are not in one of the countries where CallArc has local access number, you can use the web dialer or a mobile client (both of these are planned features) to make calls.

If, in case, you do not want to wait for the advertisements and are willing to pay a small price, CallArc will also provide cheap calls all over the world without any advertisements.

In addition to basic calling, CallArc has impressive list of features lined up.

CallArc Free International call features

The proposed features are truly impressive, I hope that CallArc is able to provide these services to the broad audience at the earliest.

There is no doubt that there is a huge demand for this service. Company representatives informed me that they have had unprecedented demand and sign-ups for the service. However, CallArc does not want to rush into launching the service without closing the loose ends. The launch was delayed due to some unforeseen consequences, but now that the beta testing is on, we can hope for a public release soon. I will keep you posted on the developments…

Please let us know what more do you want from CallArc so that the developers can listen to your comments. Who knows CallArc may even provide access to their beta program Smile

  • jped

    It would be a good idea if CallArc could also add referral bonuses. This would not only benefit the users but also the company.

    I’d love to have access to their beta program since I call from the US to the UK and the Philippines almost everyday.

  • tom

    i just hope that it remains ‘ad supported’ and not turned into a ‘sign up for some sponsored services giving all your personal details and get free calls’ type of thing. this seems like a common change on these types of services.

    while i will gladly watch and/or listen to ads for free calls i will absolutely not start filling out surveys, etc.

    • Alok Saboo

      I completely agree with you. It will be unfortunate if things turn out that way, but speaking to the company officials it does not seem to be the case. I remain hopeful that “ad-supported” model will be enough to run the service.

  • Sasanemanja

    Is this service active? When you expect we can start using it?

    • Alok Saboo

      CallArc is in closed beta right now, but it should be available to broader audience shortly!!

  • njaay

    Thanks a lot for keeping us ahead of the VOIP world! You definitively know how and where to find the right info.

    Again, thanks a billion!

    • Alok Saboo

      Thanks for your kind words….much appreciated!!

  • Abhaybanu

    are access numbers toll free or what….?

    • Alok Saboo

      Typically not….toll free access numbers just add to the cost and may make the operation inviable.

  • Miko

    Hi. If I chose ad-based option using an access number, how many seconds a typical ad lasts, and what’s the duration of the free call you get in return to it (at least for the countries you tested Alok)?
    Thank you

    • Alok Saboo

      In the beta version that I am testing there are still no ads :)

      It all depends on what location you are dialing from/to, but a typical ad can be anywhere between 10-30 seconds. How many minutes of talktime will it translate into will depend on the location that you are dialing.

  • Deepak

    “… can still make free calls as long as there are advertisers to support your call”

    This seems to be THE key point here.
    For example, If someone from Nepal wishes to call his friend in Uzbekistan (just assuming for this example there were legally available local access numbers in Nepal…) what are the chances advertisers would be found for that call? pretty much nothing.

    It seems Callarc free-calls will be able serve developed countries in western world mainly, and maybe few other occasionally, but that’s all – in contradiction to the almost-full countries list at their website, to most of which in high probability their promises of ‘unlimited calling’ are impossible to deliver (unless Callarc will be extremely successful and take over the world, which is a legitimate as an hope, but not as something to base on such clear promises).

    So, I really feel for that guy in Nepal, who has been waiting till now with illusions. I hope he has a friend or two from France or US who will be able to call him free from time to time using Callarc to comfort him.

    I’m many years into VOIP, and I know it might seem too early to criticize to some people, but would truly love to be wrong and surprised.

    It seems Callarc free-calls will serve developed countries in western world only, in contradiction to the almost-full countries list at their website, to most of which in high probability their promises of ‘unlimited calling’ are impossible to deliver (unless Callarc will be extremely succesful and take over the world, which is a legitimate hope, ).

    • Alok Saboo

      Deepak, that is a valid point and is definitely a cause of concern. But, we need to keep in mind that CallArc or any company for that matter is here to make (at least some) money. So long as CallArc will be able to maintain its revenues at the overall level, it should be able to offer free calls.

      In the example that you gave, it is possible that there are no advertisers for both Nepal or Uzbekistan. This does not necessarily imply that free calls may not be possible. Like in an insurance industry, some geographies may be used to cross-subsidize other geographies. For example, revenues from US may cover some expenses in Nepal.

      Again, this may not hold true, but this is my best guess at this point. Finally, much as we would love to have free calls, we all agree that there is nothing like free lunch. I will be extremely thrilled even if CallArc is able to provide option that is cheaper than any other option available.

      It may not be free calls “all over the world”, but even if that were true for the vast majority of the market, wouldn’t it be a reason to celebrate :)

  • James

    Well both person calling in a local number is not that attractive way to call ( is already doing that for free). I prefer to heard a 30 sec to 1 minute advertising and get connect directly( like 800-free411 I miss them) then having the other person that might not have free outgoing making call too. Most country offer free incoming but outgoing call cost for most of the people on the 3rd world.

    • Alok Saboo

      James, you are right, Jaxtr does offer free calling between a few countries when both parties initiate a call. However, CallArc is aiming to go beyond that. If you are ok watching a few ads, you may not require both parties initiating calls, you will be able to make calls directly to your destination (ad supported).

      In any case, it is always good to have options, isn’t it :)

      • sunny

        Do you really using the Callarc i was waiting from almost year

        • Alok Saboo

          Yes, I am indeed using it. The screenshots are from my beta account. Don’t worry, I will have a giveaway soon. So spread the word :)

          • Sunny

            Dont know when i be lucky as u still waiting for invitation how did u get it tho

          • Alok Saboo

            Well, thanks to the CallArc team for providing me with the invite!!

  • Abhaybanu

    well, its over a week and their beta invitations are not yet received by me and they are saying on facebook that invites are already sent.
    I registered in the first week when it went online and still no invites (maybe they are following a random selection to send invites or only to some small community of beta testers like you)

    I don’t think others got an opportunity to test the beta version bcoz no one is posting any comment regarding it.

    • Alok Saboo

      May be that is the approach they are following. There is no way for me to validate this, although I will try to get some information on this. I hope that things get rolled out faster and more people can make FREE calls :)

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