Coming Soon: Spikko’s Free Phone Service

Spikko is a three-year-old Israeli startup that claims to have developed a way to offer free telephone services between any mobile phone or land line and any other phone anywhere in the world. The service is now in beta mode but CEO Shai Gilboa says the service will be launched globally in the very near future.

The company’s website, which is in Hebrew only, offers little about the technology itself but claims that altruistic concerns for the “little guy” paying for the big profits of a few large telephone companies has driven it to create an entirely free telephone service using VoIP internet technology.

The service is currently limited to members, and to become a member you must be invited by another member. Once invited you receive a unique telephone number and a special software download which allows you to make seven minutes worth of outgoing calls to a mobile device anywhere and 30 minutes to any land line. However, anyone anywhere can call you and talk for free for an unlimited amount of time by dialing your unique number. For every minute of incoming call time you receive one minute of outgoing call time. Also for every minute of call time that a friend that you invited makes you receive 12 seconds of outgoing call time.

Additionally, all text messages are free, so you can text your friends and ask them to call you back, and incoming callers can leave voice messages. The number of outgoing minutes will increase based on the number of members, which is currently 50,000. While the company doesn’t state how this all works, the model is apparently similar to virtual mobile operators who trade in airtime. How is this different from Skype? Skype offline calls are not free. Gilboa says the company has a revenue-generation model in place but doesn’t disclose details.

Investors in Spikko include the founder of JDate Alon Carmel, who serves as Spikko chairman and business development and marketing manager, and UK real estate tycoon Igal Ahouvi, who invested $1 million, which, according to Globes, will be used to launch the company’s service internationally.

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One Response

  1. The orignal piece on thsi was dated March 30, 2008. Is this still going to happen in the ‘very near future’ or has it fizzled out?

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