A Brief History

As per the Wikipedia definition  VOIP or SIP Calling Accounts are the modern successor to the old Phonecards or Calling Cards which were common place 20 or 30 years ago.

These products worked by using local access numbers in the Country of Origin – the local access numbers numbers used the PSTN (Public Service Telephone Network) available and were often Freephone or Toll Free numbers.

Users would buy a physical phonecard – usually a plastic card – which would allow them to make calls locally or abroad, either from Payphones or other Landlines.

Particularly useful for students and tourists, or those without a normal telephone line, the cards were initially purchased for a fixed amount (example 10$ or 10£) which allowed calls to be made up to the Value of the purchase price, and were then discarded – or, later, became a  Collector’s item.

The advent of Mobile Phones and then the Internet completely changed the Global Telecommunications Market, consigning most of the old-style Phonecard to History

Calling Accounts 2023

The modern Calling Account retains the original feature of the old Phonecard product by using the local PSTN or local 3G/4G/5G Mobile network to make calls using local access numbers.

This means that access to the Internet is not necessary for a Calling Account to operate.

Access can still be made using Freephone and other local numbers in many countries using a landline telephone, and call quality is often better than VOIP calls (using the Internet) as a result.

With the mobile phone networks, Calling Accounts have extended their reach, because Roaming SIM cards allow calls to local landlines which are generally inexpensive and sometimes free of charge.

However, most modern Calling Accounts have embraced the new features available through RCS and other new Protocols, meaning that most modern Calling Accounts now also offer Instant Messaging, VOIP calls, Voicemail, SMS, Call Forwarding, Video Calls, Private Numbers, Conference Calls and other features you would expect from 21st Century Technology

How to Choose a calling account provider - 6 things to look out for

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Years in Business?

As in any industry, one of the first things to check before choosing your Calling Account Provider is how many years has the business been trading. Although not infallible, this is a good guide to whether or not your money is reasonably safe.

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Size of Business?

Obviously if the Business is part of Google, or Facebook or Skype, then the chances are that any purchase you make will be secure. The converse to this is that the larger companies tend not to be so pro-active when it comes to Customer Service or individual problems or questions you may have, tending to rely more on Community Blogs rather than actual Customer Service

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Customer Service?

Good Customer Service is in our opinion the most important feature for any Calling Account provider. By this we mean a fast response to queries - either by e-mail or by on-line chat which should be available on the main site promoting the Calling Account product. As part of our research, we have actually downloaded and used most of the products we feature in our Calling Account list, and experienced the quality of the Customer Service provided.

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You Tube Video Channel?

By far the easiest way to understand any Calling Account product is in our opinion to watch a video. So having a YouTube Video channel available is a big plus for any customer or potential customer to understand how best to use the features available for any Calling Account.

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Secure Web Site?

Customers should check that the Business website promoting the Calling Account product is secure - this means https:// is a prefix to the web address, and the padlock icon is shown. This is necessary to better protect any data that may be entered by you - particularly if a financial transaction is made. The website should also provide FAQs Terms of Service and have some reference to Data Protection.


Reasonable Calling Rates?

Since one of the main reasons for purchasing a Calling Account is to reduce call rates - particularly to international destinations - our advice is to be wary of any Business advertising "Cheapest Call Rates". The reality is that all rates are subject to change, and "cheap" comes at the expense of quality. A Calling Account provider should offer reasonable rates with call quality assured, and in our opinion a Calling Account should be viewed as an addition to - and not a replacement for - your existing telephone call provider.

Now that you have understood our Criteria, please visit our
List of Calling Account Providers