Jaxtr’s New Free Calling Service

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Jaxtr claims the new service, called FreeConnect, is easy to use. In reality, it’s more complicated than traditional calling, especially the first time. Registered members use the jaxtr Web interface to enter the international number they want to call. Jaxtr then gives them a local number to call to reach the overseas person.

When the original member places a call, jaxtr notifies the overseas recipient by text message or email, providing that person with a local number to call. When he or she does so, jaxtr connects the original caller’s and the recipient’s local calls via VoIP circuits. After the first call, the two people can reach each other at any time by calling the local numbers jaxtr has given them. Such local numbers are currently available in 55 countries, according to CEO Touraj Parang.

The reason the cost is negligible is that jaxtr isn’t making any calls itself. Both caller and recipient are placing calls to jaxtr numbers near them. Jaxtr simply connects the local calls that the two members have initiated. That means it doesn’t have to pay a carrier to terminate calls on landlines or cell phones. It also doesn’t have to buy huge batches of local numbers around the world, since it can give the same local number to multiple members. It distinguishes which member each call is from, and thus which other member the call should be connected to, by the incoming caller ID.

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