Sweden-based Rebtel have launched a product that will allow users to dial any international number at the cost of a local call. It works by having the two ends of the call use local connections (over low-cost local calls) to a VoIP point and then bridge the call to the recipient at the other end over the net.
I am sitting here at AlwaysOn conference watching the CEO, Hjalmar Winbladh, demo the product as part of the CEO showcase that Mike Arrington is moderating. Rebtel has received a good reception with the audience and the judges here as it seems to be a simple, yet inovative solution for the high costs of long-distance telephone calls.
You can try the product by filling out the form on the front page of their website. It will send an SMS to both the initiator of the call as well as the recipient and then connect the two ends. It will setup a local number for each friend you setup. The cost of each number that is setup is $1 per week, which is for unlimited calling to the other end.
The company is based in Sweden and was founded by serial-entrepreneur Hjalmar Winbladh, the founder of SendIt (which was acquired by Microsoft in ’99) and a General Manager for Microsoft Mobile solutions in Europe.