ASX-listed digital media group ISIS Communications has signed an exclusive deal with US-based Internet telephony gateway Teleconomico and will now offer free Web-based overseas and interstate calls.
Adam Ridley, CEO of ISIS, which builds digital communities, declared yesterday in a statement that anyone with a sound-enabled PC and an Internet connection will now be able to make free calls interstate and to 30 overseas countries via its www.isis3.com portal.
ISIS says its PHONE4FREE-branded offering is now up and running with users able to start using the service "immediately ... with no strings attached". The service, claimed to be an Australian first, is possible by hooking into the enormously successful HotTelephone.com IP telephony service owned by Teleconomico in the US.
"Web talk, or voice traffic over Web sites, is potentially e Web's next killer application," Radly said. "It is exploding in the United States, so much so that industry analysis have predicted that by mid-2003 half of all Web users will be making phone calls on their PCs."
Radly was also keen to talk up the technology's ability to replace expensive alternatives in many cases.
"I believe the convergence of media will make us forget that phones ever existed apart from the Net," he said. "Why would we continue to pay through the nose for long-distance services offered by groups such as Telstra when they can be had for free over the Net.