A new service popped up today called IconDial. It’s about as simple and straightforward as possible. Go to the site, which has a phone-style dial pad, and dial any phone number in the world. After a 3-5 second advertisement, your call will be put through. There is no restriction on who you can call – all countries are supported, and you can call both land lines and mobile phones.
For now the service is limited to calls of a “couple of minutes” but the company says they are looking to allow calls of up to 20 minutes soon.
The business model is similar to Free 411, which allows free directory assistance calls with an advertisement based business model. But Free 411 tries to reduce costs with an automated system and smart use of data. It’s not clear that IconDial can lower its costs to any reasonable level, particularly when it allows calls to mobile phones (which have built in costs to the caller in most countries). There’s just no way the company can recover those costs with a short audio ad.
So I guess what I’m saying is, try it now while it’s still around.