I use Skype for virtually all my domestic and international
long-distance at home. I have used WiFi Skype phones in a pinch away
from home—or even while on my exercise bike.
But what do you do, when you are not tethered to your computer and are
are unable to reach a WiFi network?
MOBIVOX may be the answer to your calling needs.
This free service enables you to have free or cheap long-distance
calling on Skype when you are on the go and computerless. I have used
it on a mobile phone while riding on a commuter train. Also, I made
long-distance using the dynamic duo of MOBIVOX and Skype on a
You sign up at mobivox.com, listing the phones you're most likely to
be calling in on. This way MOBIVOX's digital operator, VoxGirl, can
identify you when you call.
The perky voice says hello to you and asks who you would like to
reach. I named a friend in London. VoxGirl identified the name on my
list of Skype contacts and put the call through for free.
Calls can be put through MOBIVOX or Skype. But most people I want to
reach are on Skype—plus I have dollars on account with Skype for this
purpose should I need to dial outside the Skype contacts.
Recipients of MOBIVOX calls get a brief promotional announcement
mentioning who is calling.
You reach MOBIVOX via an access number. MOBIVOX has 400 access numbers
in 38 countries. I found an access number for Dublin when I was there
this summer, but none for Vilnius, Lithuania, or Riga, Lativa. But
MOBIVOX added those cities recently.
Another cool feature: You can have VoxGirl hand your call off from a cell phone which carried as you walked, say onto your home or office landline. Amazing stuff.
The only charge for MOBIVOX—unless you use the system to call people
outside Skype or MOBIVOX registered calls—is the cost of calling the
By punching the * key, you can add up to nine people in a conference call.
I found VoxGirl's speech recognition was generally spot on, especially
if I just mentioned my contact's first name. MOBIVOX notes that
"non-fluent" English speakers can use their keypads to dial.