Recently I posted about localphone which is a online calling service where you can make and receive overseas calls cheaply.
Another way I’ve been making calls is using IDD directly from my mobile phone. Just dial a IDD prefix before the phone number and you can make calls overseas like normal. No need to sign-on to any calling programs like Skype. It’s really cheap in Hong Kong to use IDD and I want to compare three different services I’ve used here.
I’ve been subscribed to IDD009 for years now. It’s available here through New World Telecom. Currently they’re offering free gifts like cookware and the pricing is pretty straightforward. $27 HKD for 200 minutes per month with a 12 month contract. The destinations included are:
China* / USA* / Canada* /Australia / UK / Singapore* / South Korea / Taiwan / Denmark / France / Germany / Ireland / Italy / The Netherlands / Norway / Spain / Sweden / Switzerland
There are fixed line numbers, but the * destinations allow fixed line and mobile. I primarily called the US and China so this worked out great for me. Unfortunately I’ve been doing so much calling lately that I’ve decided to cancel this and go for an unlimited minutes plan.
This service is provided by Hutchinson, Lee Ka Shing’s company. It provides unlimited long distance to a list of destinations above for only $56 HKD per month, fairly straightforward. I’ve been using this service the last few months and works well. I find it’s not as reliable as 009 or 1529 but if it’s not good I’ll try dialing again right away and usually the connecting is fine.
IDD0088 is great for those who make tons of calls and don’t want to worry about going over your plan minutes.
IDT Asia provides IDD1529 and this is my backup IDD service. In case my regular plan service isn’t working properly I’ll use this service to make ad-hoc calls to random destinations. Usually the prices are fairly cheap on a per minute basis and good if you’re not calling too often or need to make one off calls to not so common destinations. I find this service the most reliable of the three, but also the most expensive if I make many calls. But if you just need occasional use and don’t want to sign-up for a plan, this is a great choice.
There’s even an offer for free $28 HKD credit for signing up, you really have nothing to lose.
I’ve provided hopefully options for all types of callers, those who make a lot, those who only need 100-200 minutes, and those who rarely call overseas. I have only used these IDD services so I can’t really comment on the competitors, but I hope it helps you make an informed decision.