The Demise of the Telephone Calling Cards

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Tufone, Inc., a VOIP telephone provider has come out with a new service that can turn any telephone, including a cell phone, into a long distance calling card. This service provides a welcome relief to the hundreds of thousand of immigrants throughout the country using calling cards to reach their families around the world.

The calling card industry has been plagued with companies trying to deceive consumers with all kinds of devious business practices, which are either undisclosed, or disclosed in very fine print. Many calling cards charge a connection fee for every call, a weekly or monthly maintenance fee, cards with limited life, and multiple minute rounding. These charges can significantly increase the actual cost of a call. Along with the unknown cost per call, immigrants are forced to hunt constantly for calling cards, wasting time and adding to the confusion.

Along comes the Tufone service which promises to alleviate these problems. Tufone charges a monthly fee of $3.95, which allows customers to add this service on up to three telephones (office, business, and cell phone). Thereafter the calls are charged at the actual rate table with no other fees. Their rate table is one of the lowest in the industry; for example, Argentina $.02, Rio, Sao Paulo, Portugal and Greece $.03. (http://en.tufone.com/rates.php).

The Tufone service is simple to the extreme. It provides customers with a unique local telephone number which when called, opens a gateway into the Tufone VOIP telephone system. Once dialed, the customer is greeted with a standard dial tone. No ID or PIN is required as the Tufone computer recognizes the telephone calling; making a long distance call with Tufone very easy. Once an account is opened it can be used continuously. All that is required is a credit card or a pre-payment in any amount to recharge the service.

Tufone president, Moses Apsan, stated, "The process of making telephone calls to families abroad should not be complicated or costly. Immigrants should not have to pay a large portion of their paycheck just to speak to their family abroad; instead they should be able to use these funds for more necessary expenses – support of their family, which is the basic reason most immigrants come to the United States in the first place."

Tufone Vice President of R&D is Joao Vianna, founder of natualvoice.com, a pioneer in the VOIP industry and one of the initial services to be part of Google’s Gizmo Project (http://www.gizmoproject.com/other-networks.html) commented, "We are in the beginning of an evolution in the telephone industry. Soon enough, the price of a phone call will drop to such a negligible level that people around the world will talk to each other without any even thinking about the cost." The Gizmo Project will be a formidable competitor to Skype.

Andre Simoes, VP of IT at Tufone commented, "Tufone’s service was basically a re-deployment of various programs and procedures developed by Tufone in a manner best befitting the needs of the telephone consumers today. Soon we will be providing local telephone numbers in foreign countries so that a call made in that country will cost the same as any other local call. Long distance telephone charges will eventually become a thing of the past."

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Andre Simoes
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