Bernie talks a lot about SkypeOut for cheap phone calls. Myself, I use a service called Telestunt. Basically, the deal is you use your regular phone to make your international calls, but at a local rate.
You dial a 1890 access number (1890 943 123) local rate from anywhere in Ireland) and then make your call. You can do it from anywhere, and you can do it from your mobile. It’s easy, and it’s cheap, as low as 1c/minute.
For calling mobile numbers, and countries further afield, there’s a 1520 number, which costs 15c/minute.
It’s not the most reliable service ever – sometimes you have to try twice to get through, but it’s cheap, and it’s easy. You don’t have to mess around with PIN numbers, and you just pay for your calls on your regular bill.
I find it hard to understand how they can do these calls quite this cheap though. I know it’s only around the same price as Skype, but Telestunt has to split the revenue with eircom, while Skype get to keep all the money they charge the customer. Still, you have to enjoy the good things while they last.
I would probably go for a VoIP solution, but what’s the point in buying the kit and setting up the account when I can get calls this cheap? And because DSL is my only option for broadband, I have to pay my line rental (EUR 25/month) whether I use my regular phone and number or not.
Disclaimer: I provide strategy consulting advice for an Irish phone company, (though not Telestunt).