To initiate a call, you need to create an account (name, Email address, and phone number, but no billing information). After entering up to six phone numbers, the site will automatically dial each number and connect them over the service’s land-based phone system. After the call starts you can add more callers (up to the limit of six total participants) through the site’s web page.
Unsurprisingly, there are a few restrictions to the free service: all numbers involved must be in the United States or Canada, and you’re allotted a total of 30 minutes per day for group calls. The system also has a few quirks. In our test call with three people, there was a noticeable lag – nothing that would make a conversation unintelligible, but definitely enough to get annoying. The system also doesn’t seem to recognize if one of the members of the call gets disconnected, and there’s no ‘re-connect’ button – you’ll need to re-add dropped participants as another member of the call.
Still, for a free service that takes relatively little effort to set up, dukaUS delivers. And while it may not be suitable for lengthy business calls that are typically done over call bridges, it’s more than adequate for more casual group meetings.
Offering free conference calls isn’t a new idea, but it’s also one that never seemed like a viable business. We’ve seen similar services from startups like Gaboogie (which eventually shifted focus) and Foonz, which is still around but will likely have a hard time generating revenue. But dukaUS isn’t out to make money – it’s a product developed by Jaduka Labs to showcase the site’s technology and raise brand awareness, so it won’t be struggling to find a way to turn its complimentary service into a business.