Did you know that you could call long distance for free within Canada? Using your cell or your land line, that is. Yup, you read that right! And you don’t need to use a computer nor install any software or hardware. This is only applicable to certain cities though.
I haven’t tried using it yet, but it’s good to know that this is available, just in case. Oh actually, I have tried calling the Toronto access number, but I haven’t made any calls yet. You listen to a short ad at the start, then all you need to do is just dial the number you want to call right after, and that’s about it.
As of this writing, long distance calls can be made from the following cities (thanks to zerocents.ca) by dialing the corresponding access number from your cell or land line:
- Calgary 403-450-3474
- Guelph 519-341-6093
- Halifax 902-482-9710
- Kingston 613-344-1392
- Niagara Falls 289-932-2220
- Oshawa 289-634-1100
- Ottawa 613-688-3733
- Peterborough 705-536-0659
- St. Catharines 289-438-2220
- Toronto 416-644-3733
- Victoria 250-412-8092
- Windsor 226-946-1946
For the list of cities covered to where you could call for free, check the list at zerocents.ca. If you’re calling from your cell, however, regular outgoing call rates still apply. It’s just that you wouldn’t be charged for long distance rates.
How, you ask, is this possibly free? They are using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service for this. Voice signals are converted into digital signals that travel through the internet. The signal, then, is converted back to a regular telephone (analog) signal before it reaches the called destination. I do not have any idea, however, why these nice guys (whoever they are) are providing this service for free.
VoIP is also used by the different companies that offer cheaper long distance phone card rates. This is what allows them to charge for a lower price than regular long distance calls.
Thank goodness for latest technologies and the guys behind zerocents.ca, eh?
Update as of 2010: This free long distance service is no longer available. The above mentioned website will redirect you to another site offering paid VoIP service.