Searching for a viable VOIP solution for the iPhone, we recently gave Talkety a test run. In a nutshell, the service works as you'd expect: some slight delay, but overall decent voice quality.
To sign up, you simply enter a login name and password as well as your name. You're then prompted to enter your iPhone's phone number, at which point you'll receive a phone call from Talkety asking you to enter a verification code. You'll be given a free .50 British pound credit to experiment with the service.
To make a call, you fill out a form on the Talkety Web site with the desired number. You then receive a call from Talkety. Upon answering, you receive the message "You are now being connected," at which point the desired number is dialed. Again, voice quality is decent, but there is a noticeable delay on the receiving end.
Of course, VOIP doesn't make any sense if AT&T's own international long distance rates are cheaper (which they most certainly are not). A sampling of Talkety's rates for calls placed from the United States:
- USA 1.76 cents
- Germany 1.64 cents
- Australia 2.69 cents
- France 1.83 cents
- Hong Kong 2.52 cents
- Japan 3.22 cents
- Germany: 9 cents to landline, 28 cents to mobile
- Australia: 9 cents to landline, 25 cents to mobile
- France: 9 cents to landline, 26 cents to mobile
- Hong Kong: 12 cents to landline, 12 cents to mobile
- Hong Kong: 9 cents to landline, 21 cents to mobile
So if you make a lot of international calls, Talkety and other VOIP services for the iPhone are certainly worth a look. They're inconvenient relative to normal phone dialing, but can save quite a bit of money.
Unfortunately, we had some problems logging into our Talkety account from the main page after initial establishment -- the password field refused to pop-up the iPhone's keyboard. Resetting our iPhone didn't help.
UPDATE: We also gave Jajah (a competing VOIP service with purported iPhone support) a whirl, but received the error message "The source number is not supported" and had problems selecting a country from the included list with the iPhone's Web browser.