Unlimited Mobile Phone Calling Courtesy of VoIP
Today, someone on Howard Forums brought to my attention the PANTHEONâ¢ Unlimited Cellular Calling service. For $9.99/month, you can make calls from your mobile phone to another mobile phone on the same network (currently, only Cingular/AT&T Wireless is supported). Since you can usually get “mobile to mobile” calls for free on appropriate rate plans, the net result is “free” calling for you.
I’m curious how they are going to be making money at $9.99 a month. I can basically roll my own version of this service using the following equipment:
- Dock n Talk, which runs about $140 in the Voxilla Store. There may be other products that serve the same function, but this is the one I am familiar with.
- SPA-3000, which runs about $100.
- A cell phone, which I suppose you can get for cheap or free with a contract. Getting one compatible with the Dock n Talk might not be cheap/free. I’ve got phones, so that’s free for me.
- A service plan for this new phone. The cost of doing so is either $9.99 or $19.99, depending on your rate plan. For my rate plan, it would be $9.99.
- VoIP service, which you can get either a per-minute plan with a provider or unlimited with something like BroadVoice. That will run you $20/mo.
- Internet connection, which has some fixed per-month cost associated with it.
This company XCelis might have some sort of integrated device that handles all these functions for cheaper than an outlay of $240 (or buying similar equipment in-bulk), is probably getting the service plans in-bulk from Cingular, and could be wholesaling the VoIP minutes (which I’m told can be had for less than a penny a minute in the approprite volumes).
$9.99 per customer seems to barely cover the recurring costs unless they are getting an excellent deal on the service from Cingular. Something doesn’t seem right about this, but I’m too tired to figure out why.
If I wanted this kind of service myself, I have the means to set it up. The only thing I actually need is a second Cingular SIM card and I’m ready to go.