Using Rebtel to Communicate with Russian Women
offers the most convenient and competitive international calling plans I have been able to find.
To make phone calls to Russia you have several options. First, you can just dial direcly to Russia/Ukraine from your home or cell phone, but that will cost you. I know that calling to Russia/Ukraine direct from my AT&T cell phone costs around 31 cents/minute.
Second, you can use a "Dial Around" service. That's where you dial some 1-800 number, enter a code, and then enter the number you are dialing. That actually ends up dialing via the internet to a Russian server, which in turn dials out to a Russian phone. It's called "Dial Around" because while you are actually using your own home or cell phone, your international calling is handled and billed through this 1-800 operation (you are "dialing around" the local or cell phone company). These are always the cheapest, but it's a hassle to remember all these steps and codes, etc.
Third, you can use Skype. Click here
to read my discussion of Skype. Skype is a great option IF you are sitting at your computer.
But I recently searched calling options and found Rebtel
. They offer a dial-around option with a twist.... Although you can use it like a typical dial-around (i.e. you dial their number, enter a code, etc.), you can go online to configure international phone numbers such that they are dialed just like a local number.
An example will help... Let's say you are in regular contact with "Olga" in Moscow. You go to www.Rebtel.com and establish an account. You register your cell phone number (or home phone if you prefer that to be your primary phone) in their system. Then you register Olga's cell phone number, and Rebtel assigns a local phone number to her.
Now when you dial Olga's assigned number (the local number assigned), you'll initially hear a message saying "Please wait will we connect your call". Then you'll hear an American dialing tone, then a European dialing tone, then Olga answers.
They require that you pre-pay a balance from which they deduct whenever you use the service, and they also give you the option of automatically recharging your account whenever the balance gets below a certain point so that you don't have to keep going back to the web site.
So basically they offer all the convenience of direct dialing and the most competitive dial-around international rates available (right now rates to Russia are around $0.06-$0.07 per minute). I've been using it for nearly a year now and find it to be a good, reliable service.