For people who make frequent long-distance calls, the worst part can often be trying to find money to pay the high calling fees or keeping an eye on the clock to make sure calls are as brief as possible. However, the reality is that it is possible to find cheaper services, including through the use of prepaid cards.
According to Wikipedia, the rates for long distance calling have been kept artificially high for many years, despite technological advances in telephone services. Even though the costs are not necessarily higher for long distance than for local calls, companies have used these extra charges to subsidize other phone services. Most telephone companies now offer special long distance service plans that provide a slight discount over what people pay without special plans. However, some people are reluctant to pay these fees, especially when their use of long distance calling is erratic.
Another option that some people have come to depend on for long distance calling is special access codes, which allow people to make occasional long distance calls without signing up for a phone plan. These options depend on the amount of time spent on each call, and the charges go on the user’s regular telephone bill. These dial-in numbers, such as the 1010 service, are options for people who rarely make long distance calls, but who want to save some money. Similarly, services like ttag.ca are becoming more popular every day.
A third option is popular in countries where telephone services are unreliable or very expensive: the magicJack. This technology is a piece of hardware that plugs into USB outlets on computers or sometimes into one’s regular phone jack and allows people to call anywhere in the world for free. Essentially, this technology is another version of the telephone, except that it bypasses the regular network and allows people to contact others cheaply, even if only one party has the magicJack.
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For those who prefer a low-cost option for making calls to others, another option might be to buy a prepaid phone card.
There are a number of prepaid phone card providers in the United States and Canada. MTI Magnolia Telecom, for example, which is a Canadian prepaid phone card provider, is experienced in providing both residential and commercial phone services, and both local and long distance calling. Currently, MTI Magnolia Telecom offers services in twenty-two Canadian cities, though that number is increasing.
MTI Magnolia’s prepaid phone cards offer minute-by-minute incremental billing and a five-year limited warranty. Prepaid cards offer the convenience of low rates without a contract or the trouble of waiting until peak hours are over, since MTI Magnolia has no peak hours.
Cards are available in $2.50, $5, $10, and $20 denominations, and each card includes an ID number on its back. Making a call involves three simple steps: calling the 1-800 number on the card, entering the ID number into the phone, and entering the destination area code and telephone number.
Pre-paid calling cards keep phone bills from getting out of control and make great gifts for students living abroad and elderly family members on a tight budget. They are also a necessity for avid travelers who want to avoid costly roaming charges. The sheer variety of calling cards on the market provide customers a variety of saving options not available with long distance providers.
As the world becomes increasingly borderless, having cost-friendly tools for global communication has become extremely important. While the Internet and the mobile phone have made communication easier, traditional phone communication is still the mode of choice for many around the world.