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Clever: Jajah does VoIP without a computer

Jajah can save you a lot of money on certain long-distance phone calls.

The "dial-around" phone service, Jajah, just launched a new service that lets you access it without going near a PC.

Dial-around services usually work by asking you what number you want to call. Then the service will make two calls, one to that number and one to your phone. The services then connect the two phones via their own VOIP networks. Calling rates on dial-around services are low since traditional telephone networks are only used to make two local phone calls.

Jajah assigns local numbers to overseas phones.

Jajah's latest trick is that it can assign a local Jajah Direct number (local to you) to anyone you regularly call. For example, if your phone is in the 415 area code and your mother is in Spain, you can tell Jajah what her number is and it will give you a 415 number for her. You program that number into your cell, and use it to dial her. You'll be charged by your mobile phone company for a local call (probably nothing), and 3.4 cents a minute by Jajah. Which is a great rate. However, rates vary. If your mom in Spain is on a mobile phone, the call is 21.8 cents a minute. Some other countries aren't a bargain to call no matter what kind of phone the other person is on. So check the rates for calls you want to make before you sign up.

You can also get new Jajah Direct numbers for your contacts without using a browser. Jajah has access numbers in 19 cities worldwide (more coming) that you can call to get a local-to-you number assigned for anyone in the world.

There are other dial-around services and many other ways to make low-cost or free phone calls. But this is a good weapon in the arsenal against overpriced long distance.