VOIP calls in Israel

VOIP calls in Israel

This was a post I originally thought I’d only publish in Hebrew, but then I realized there is an English option for what I am about to discuss and I am sure some of you English speakers would appreciate this when you come to the holy land… (I’d love to know if you do!)

So, in this chapter of my guide, I’ll review “Spikko” http://www.spikko.com/index_en.htmvery similar to the solution I presented in the last post, this service provides you with a free telephone number used for incoming and outgoing calls with Israeli carriers.

In this case the service is provided on its own, and you can attach it with various applications if you like.
spikko_facebook_avatar_2001
http://www.spikko.com/index_en.htm

What is this about and How does it work

Sing-up for this service is done via the site in the above link, following validation in an email sent to you, you will get an 057 area code phone number (this is one of Israel’s mobile carriers called Mirs).
In order to user the service you’ll need an SIP (soft phone) application which you can find for computer (you can find links and details on the site) as well as for your smartphone.
  • Incoming calls – unlimited, the caller will be paying a regular rate for calling an Israeli mobile number according to his communication package.
  • Outgoing calls – this is where it gets tricky
    • Upon connecting to the service you will get 8 minutes free for Israeli landlines and 2 minutes for Israeli mobile phone numbers (you can choose to call other countries using your credit according to the exchange rate calculated on the site).
    • You want more minutes? No problem you can either buy them or accumulate them in the following manner:
      • Each minute you spend on an incoming call entitles you to a minute of outgoing calls… the more and longer your incoming calls, the more free minutes you will get.
      • If you invite friends and they get incoming calls, you get 25% of their incoming talk time for your outgoing calls.
The services also allows you to send up to 30 SMS messages a day for free using the site / a dedicated computer application as well as voice mail (where the minutes people spend leaving you a message also entitle you for free outgoing minutes!).
(If someone invited you – be a good friend and join using their invitation although you can just signup, it will not come out of your budget and your usage can benefit your friend… and if you want an invite, let me know…)

To the people abroad / those who are in Israel

Spikko anywhere service allows you to define a telephone number in select countries around the world to which incoming calls to your Spikko number will be redirected – when someone dials the Spikko number the number you defined will ring. The process includes a short validation using the numbers to which the calls will be redirected and after that all calls will be routed to that number.
If you leave in the USA for example, you can provide your friends and loved ones a local Israeli mobile number to call which will ring your home phone back in the USA. Each incoming call will load your Spikko phone with outgoing minutes which you can later use to call them back.
Receiving and making calls
If you chose to direct your calls to a local number you are covered for incoming calls. In addition you can install an application which will allow you to receive / make calls from your computers. iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users should install an SIP app which will allow you to connect with the service.

What is SIP?

A protocol for initiating communication using the internet which is supported by many devices (I won’t be surprised to find out that it’s behind some of the international call options offered by the telecom companies). You can run a quick search to find more details on this protocol and in future posts I’ll mention some SIP providers from around the world.
Fring app
The app I mentioned yesterday, Whistle Phone can serve as you SIP app if you did not setup an account for a USA number… another alternative can be the free app “Fring”. From the screen More>Add-ons you can define one SIP service as you choose, the Spikko site has the details but generally:
  • Choose the option “Other” from the list of providers
  • Input the name and password of the account your created
  • In the Proxy field input: sip.spikko.com:5090
FringScreens1
Service configuration

So you can have Whistle Phone for your USA calls and Fring for your Israeli calls… an app recommended by Spikko site for use with their service is belongs to Acrobys who offers 2 excellent solutions for you to choose from, rich with advanced functionality which will be covered in detail in a future post in this guide.

Latest version (a bit different from the one presented above):

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