Well, this seems overdue. While some mobile providers have long offered free calls to 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers, in their plans, many others haven’t. Regulator the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) had originally planned to introduce legislation in January 2015 making fee-free calls compulsory, but now the major telcos have agreed to make at least some of those calls free ahead of that deadline.
iOS/Android: Free messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber are handy for free messaging to other people with the same app installed, but what happens when you want to make a call to someone on a regular number? FooTalk is a newly-launched VOIP app which offers relatively cheap rates for calls.
Prepaid calling cards can be a good way to use the landline for international calls when you’re staying with family at Christmas, but you need to make sure you pick the right one. An analysis of calling cards by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) found that 40 per cent of cards on the Australian market had “significant problems”.
One argument sometimes used against voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone services is that they don’t always identify your location when you make a call to the 000 emergency number. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking TPG to court for a more fundamental problem: a six-month period where some of TPG’s phone subscribers apparently couldn’t access 000 at all.
One of the key requirements under the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code is for mobile phone providers to specify how many 2-minute calls you could make on each plan they offer. That won’t be a requirement until March 1 next year, but we can easily perform that calculation ourselves right now.