A quick glance at options available to those who wish to make low cost international calls from South Africa.

Hello Mobile – offers direct dialing from cellphone. Cost varies according to destination country. If, for example, the destination number is in India (fixed or mobile) the cost is R0.80 per minute.  Note that this service needs its own SIM  to be inserted in the cellphone. My comment: It appears to be good value, especially if you need to make calls while away from your home or office. Untested as yet. Check out http://www.hellomobile.co.za/

Telestream: Call 087-150-0811 and then dial international number. Cost does not vary according to destination country. From my Telkom phone it costs R 1.13 per minute ( offpeak ) and R1.93 per minute (peak). Cellphone free minutes do apply (Reason why I use it). My comment: I use this service regularly. Consistently good call quality. Telestream is also behind the Hello Mobile offer.

Callstar – Call 011-100-0063 and dial international number. Cost does not vary according to destination country. Call costs R0.66/minute (off-peak) and R 1.07/minute (peak). Untested as yet.

Telkom Closer Plans 3, 4 and 5: Cost varies according to destination country. For India it is R1.125 per minute (peak) and R0.80 per minute (off-peak). My comment: As best value as one can get from the Telkom network.

Jaxtr: Have to call a local access number – for which you have to pay your local service provider (like Telkom) and also pay Jaxtr for credit to call international numbers. Their local acces number in South Africa recently changed from a Telkom number to another number  hosted by one Switch Telecom Geographic. My comment: Inconsistent call quality is cause for concern. Poor value especially in the context of local access charges.  I have had a disastrous experience with Jaxtr – will not be using them again.

Note: All costs listed above are for a Telkom line in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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